Dishes That Are Made For Spring

Like chefs, you can find the kitchen to be a fun place to be during the spring season. It’s the time to make lighter, more colorful dishes that the whole family will love. Here are three of Midwest Living’s best fresh spring dishes that you can serve up.

Creamy Shrimp and Rice Soup


1 pound fresh or frozen medium shrimp

4 ½ cups chicken broth

¾ cup long grain white rice

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup thinly sliced carrot

1 clove garlic, minced

¾ cup whipping cream

1 medium leek (white and light green parts only), thinly sliced

8 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach

4 teaspoons chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed

2 teaspoons lemon zest

Cracked black pepper


  1. Peel shell from and devein shrimp. Rinse, pat dry and set aside.
  2. Bring the broth to boiling in a large saucepan, then stir in the rice and salt. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 12 minutes. Add carrot and garlic and stir. Simmer, covered, 5 additional minutes or until rice is cooked and carrots are tender.
  3. Stir in whipping cream. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp and leek and simmer, covered for roughly 3 minutes or until shrimp are opaque. Stir in spinach until wilt, followed by dill and lemon zest. Sprinkle with pepper if desired. 

Lemon-Basil Pasta


10 ounces dried linguine or desired pasta

1 19 – ounce can white kidney (cannellini) beans, rinsed and drained

½ of a large lemon

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper


  1. Cook pasta as package instructs, and add beans the last 2 minutes of pasta cooking time. Remove 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and set aside. Drain pasta and beans; Keep covered to maintain warmth.
  2. Finely shred peel from the lemon half (about 2 teaspoons). In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat and add lemon peel; cook and stir for a minute.
  3. Combine cooked lemon peel, basil, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the juice from the lemon half, salt and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth. Add reserved cooking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency, processing mixture after every addition.
  4. To serve, toss hot cooked pasta mixture with the lemon-basil mixture.

Spring Tortellini Soup


12 ounces Italian-style chicken sausage, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

12 ounces broccolini, trimmed and chopped

1 9 – ounce package refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

2 green onions, sliced

1 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed


  1. In a 6-quart saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat and brown sausage.
  2. Add broth; bring to a boil; Add tortellini and thyme and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.

These simple, spring-fresh dishes are right for the taste buds, offering up some of the best foods harvested in the springtime. These spring dishes might be easy to prepare but this is also the perfect time of the year to be eating outside! If you are looking for a restaurant that offers spring dishes and outdoor seating, head on over to Trattoria Il Panino located in Boston’s North End. Call us now or head on over to our website to browse through our menu