It's said that bacon makes everything better, but when it comes to soup, a little bit of pasta makes everything better. You can use any shape, any size from tiny ditallini to the largest noodles (as evidence by this great lasagna soup, from Framed Cooks), mix and match from your leftover pasta jar. Just a handful of pasta will help thicken and enrich vegetable soups, create a satisfying mouth feel without any meat at all, and stretch a small amount of soup into a meal for a crowd.
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For people who cannot eat dairy products, coconut milk can be a lifesaver. In soups like this unusual black bean soup with coconut and cilantro, from Apron Strings, coconut milk brings its creamy richness to balance the earthy texture of the beans. Many cuisines rely on coconut milk, including Thai, Indian, and Jamaican, so there's a lot to choose from when you're making soup.
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I know I'm rushing the season a bit, but I just can't help it. I adore asparagus, and as soon as it starts to show up in the grocery store -- from who-knows-where -- I lose my resolve to wait until May, when I can buy local spears at the farmers' market. If you're impatient like I am, or if you're lucky enough to live in a place where you can get local asparagus now, this Simmer is for you. Most of the time, I reach for chicken stock when I'm making asparagus soup, but today I'm sharing links to recipes like this chilled asparagus soup with spinach and avocado, from Simple Nourished Living, that do not use chicken stock as a base. Asparagus soups are delicious hot or cold, which means these recipes will carry you through from now until late summer.
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