There are a few minutes more daylight every single day; we are hearing the drip, drip of snow melt and some twittering birds, and St. Patrick’s Day is approaching, so spring must be inevitable. To celebrate its imminent arrival, here are a couple of recipes that sing of early spring.

Emerald Soup

Green peas and spinach leaves are pureed with a starchy potato and finished with cream to make a gorgeous and delicious emerald green soup, just right for this week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day. Round out this soup supper with crusty Sunshine Cornbread and a tomato and radish salad.

Serves 3 to 4 as a main course

5 tablespoons butter

1 large onion, chopped

4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth

½ cup dry vermouth or white wine

1 medium-large all-purpose or russet potato (about 6 ounces), peeled and roughly chopped

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen peas

¼ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus a few leaves for garnish

3 handfuls spinach leaves

1 cup half-and-half

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/3 cup crème fraîche, plain yogurt, or sour cream

Melt the butter in a large saucepan or soup pot. Add onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the broth, 2 cups water, vermouth, potato and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, covered, until potatoes are about half cooked, 7 to 8 minutes.

Add peas and parsley and continue to cook until potatoes and peas are tender, 4 to 6 minutes more. Stir in spinach and simmer until wilted, about 2 minutes.

Puree soup in a blender or food processor, in batches if necessary, until smooth. Return to the pot, add half-and-half and heat through. Season with pepper and additional salt, if necessary.

Ladle into bowls, top with a dollop of crème fraîche and garnish with a parsley leaf.

Sunshine Cornbread

Golden cornbread, especially when baked in a round pan, looks like sunshine to me. If using a cast-iron skillet, which creates a nice bottom crust, measure the bottom of the pan, which can be between 8¾ and 9½ inches in diameter. If using the larger skillet, test the bread after the minimum baking time. You can also use a 9-inch square metal baking pan.

Makes one 9-inch pan of cornbread, about 6 servings

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup yellow cornmeal

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 cup whole or low-fat milk

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Melt the butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Pour most of the melted butter into a small bowl.

Whisk the flour with the cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Add the egg and milk to the butter in the small bowl and whisk to blend.

Pour milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir gently but thoroughly to combine. Add vegetable oil to the skillet and place over medium heat until hot but not scorching. The batter should sizzle when it goes into the pan. Scrape batter into the hot pan and smooth the top. Wear an oven mitt to transfer the skillet to the oven.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until bread is pale golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cut into wedges and serve hot.

Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently “Lobster!” She lives on the Blue Hill peninsula. Find her on Facebook at:

facebook.com/brookedojny