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Monday 20 March 2023

Some Facts About Spring ... and a tasty spring-time soup!

How spring can affect your sense of smell and other bizarre facts about the UK spring season.

1. It starts at different times
Spring can start at different times, depending on who you ask. Looking at the astronomical calendar the first day of spring is 20 March. The Phenological method records dates of reoccurring natural phenomena such as flowering. For meteorologists, spring starts on 1 March and runs until 31 May.

2. Snow?
Many people say you're more likely to see snow at Easter than at Christmas. This is borne out of statistics to some extent - snow or sleet falls on average 3.9 days in December, compared to 4.2 days in March. However, because Easter is a 'moveable feast', it can also take place in April, which has only 2.3 days of snow or sleet fall. So it depends on exactly when Easter falls in any given year.

3. Vernal Equinox
The first day of spring, the vernal equinox, has 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.

4. The warmest spring...
The warmest spring on record was 2011 with an average daytime temperature of 9.2 °C.

5. ...and the coldest spring
Was the spring of 1962, with an average daytime maximum of 5.8 °C.

6. The wettest spring
1947 saw the wettest spring to date with 331.7 mm of rainfall.

7. Average temperatures
The average mean temperature for spring is 7.7 °C.

8. Something in the air?
Sense of smell can be more acute in spring as there is usually more moisture in the air.

9. It isn't the start of the pollen season
Spring is often associated with the start of the pollen season. However, some pollen types can release as early as January.

10. The sunniest spring
The sunniest spring was in 1948, in which a total of 558 sunshine hours were recorded.
Words and above image from here

Sharing a tasty spring-time bowl of soup
~ Spring minestrone soup with pesto ~

This Mary Berry recipe for a light and summery minestrone soup makes the most of springtime vegetables, don't forget a dollop of pesto on top!

Try freezing this soup in portion-sized containers - it will keep for 2 months.
Each serving provides 4.5g protein, 16g carbohydrate, 14g fat, 4g fibre.

Serves Six
3 tbsp olive oil
40g/1½oz butter
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 leek, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
250g/9oz potatoes*, peeled and finely chopped
3 sticks celery, finely chopped
150g/5oz savoy cabbage
2 litres/3½ pints beef or vegetable stock
400g/14oz can Italian chopped tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp green basil pesto
*If you would like a lower carb alternative to potatoes, you will find some suggestions here
1. Heat the oil and butter in a large pan. Add onions, leek and potatoes and cook for about five minutes, until starting to soften, stirring from time to time. Add the celery and cook for a few minutes more.
2. Meanwhile cut the half cabbage in quarters. Remove central stalk from cabbage and discard. Cut leaves across the wedge shape in short shreds.
3. Pour stock and can of tomatoes into the pan with the cabbage. Bring to the boil and gently simmer for about 30 mins.
4. Add pesto for the last 5 mins, and check the seasoning before serving.

xxxx ooo xxxx

Dear reader, this blog brings a variety of articles and recipe ideas, and it is important to note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter. If you have any concerns about your health, it is always advisable to consult your doctor or health care team.

All the best Jan


Chatty Crone said...

Gosh here in America we don't use the same measurements you do - in temperatures either. lol So I am not sure the exact temperature you are saying - but it is still cold here! The soup - Spring minestrone soup with pesto looks great.

Tom said...

...spring is always worth waiting for.

William Kendall said...

My aunt would say the weather on the first day of a season told the tale for the rest of it.

J.P. Alexander said...

La primavera es genial. Gracias por l receta. Te mando un beso.

peppylady (Dora) said...

Happy Spring!
Coffee is on and stay safe

Christine said...

Good spring facts!

Angie's Recipes said...

A light yet very flavourful soup!

Margaret D said...

Interesting post Jan.
We say autumn begins on March 1, then spring September 1...though the Equinox will be September 23, 2023 @ 4.49pm..I looked it

Lorrie said...

Spring is always a welcome season, and this year, in our area, it's showing up nicely. The temperatures are still cool, and soup is always on the menu. This looks like a good one.

Elephant's Child said...

We are heading into autumn here - another season I love. Enjoy your Spring.

Karen @ Beatrice Euphemie said...

Interesting facts about spring! The minestrone looks delicious and the perfect way to start the season. Happy Spring! x K

Kay said...

I sure hope the temperatures in London warms up very, very soon... and especially in Salisbury.

Hilly Nicolay said...

Lovely spring.
Yesterday I cooked a very large pot of vegetable soup.
I got my family for lunch.

All the best and greetings from me,

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

What fun and interesting fats about spring. That soup sounds delicious. Reminds me of cabbage soup.

José Antonio Sánchez Rumí said...

Good statistical data, here is also said windy March, rainy April, they take out flowery and beautiful May, let's see if it is fulfilled, especially the rainy April.
Happy week.
Best regards.

eileeninmd said...

Great post, interesting facts!
The soup looks yummy!
Take care, enjoy your day! Have a wonderful new week!

Donna said...

It does seem to snow more at Easter than Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Spring is one of my favorite seasons.

My name is Erika. said...

Happy spring to you both Jan. I'm happy my first day of spring is sunny and temperatures will be seasonally spring like.

Martha said...

Fun post with interesting facts! Happy spring. That soup looks really yummy!

Conniecrafter said...

It sure doesn't feel much like spring in a lot of the U.S. today, I can't believe how much of the country is getting snow, and pour California, if they aren't getting snow they have so much rain there is flooding, but it seems to be looking up at least around here by the end of the week warming up. Hope you all are enjoying signs of spring!

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Yay for sunny 1948!
A minestrone soup will be a nice change from my usual veggie lentil soup. Thank you!
Happy Spring Jan & Eddie!

happyone said...

Interesting spring facts. Doesn't feel like spring here today. 18F.

Hena Tayeb said...

Mmm what a yummy soup. Thanks for sharing.

Kinga K. said...

I love spring so much <3

Jeanie said...

Happy Equinox! I didn't realize it was today till I started seeing blogs. Finally! Now, tell the weather guy!

Bill said...

Enjoyed the facts of spring, thank you.

Valerie-Jael said...

Yummy suppe, and interesting spring facts, thanks for sharing! Hugs, Valerie

CraveCute said...

Love to hear what it's like in the UK! I'm so happy it's finally Spring. We have plenty of time for soup here in the northern USA. We still have mountains of snow, maybe most of it will be gone by Easter! Thanks for the recipe, it sounds wonderful.

Breathtaking said...

Hello :=) Some interesting facts about Spring. The first day of Spring here was sunny and warm, and some of my balcony flowers bloomed for the first time. Thank you for the soup recipe, you can always count on Mary Berry for delicious home made food.
All the best

Sue said...

I can't wait for it to warm up a bit here, it seems to have been such a long Winter. That soup looks really nice and Mary Berry never lets you down. Take care and have a very happy week, Sue xx

Carola Bartz said...

Unfortunately where I live we have pollen season all year long. Something is always blooming. Today we have a beautiful sunny day, just perfect for the start of spring. The rain is supposed to be coming back tonight, so this is the lone sunny day among the rain. I'm happy about the rain, but I do look forward to sunnier and warmer days.

Teresa said...

La sopa se ve muy bien. Feliz primavera.

carol l mckenna said...

Great soup and great post about Spring ~

Wishing you good health, laughter and love in your days,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Hi Jan! What a delicious sounding Springtime soup you’ve shared. I especially love cabbage in soup. Thank you for sharing.

Elkes Lebensglück said...

Interesting and a tasty soup!
Greeting Elke

♥ Łucja-Maria ♥ said...

I love soups and your spring one looks delicious. I have to cook it.