In Tuscany, the advent of spring doesn’t signal the end of soup season. But it does mean the soups that are served take a different tone. Garmugia, for example, a specialty of the city of Lucca, bridges the seasons by marrying veal and pancetta with freshly picked artichokes, peas, fava beans and asparagus—the first tender vegetables of spring. Like the season itself, garmugia bursts with contrasts, at once tender and bold, and simultaneously lushly green yet robust and meaty.

“It is one of the best representations of microseasonality,” Giulia Scarpaleggia, a Tuscan food writer and cookbook author, says of the soup that makes the most of ingredients harvested in the region during the earliest part of spring. She notes that the window for making it is fleeting. “It’s a matter of a few weeks, maybe a month,” she says.

And while a hallmark of Tuscan cuisine is its rusticity, this soup is all about luxury. “This is not peasant food,” Scarpaleggia says. Thought to have originated during the Renaissance era, garmugia was feast-worthy fare for the rich and powerful. In stark contrast to the typical hearty Tuscan soups, which often cleverly repurpose scraps, only the finest ingredients go into garmugia, a pairing of pricey meats and the season’s freshest vegetables.

For our version, we aimed to capture garmugia’s push and pull between light and rich. And with the right combination of produce, we felt we could have a weeknight-simple soup fit for any time of year.

In garmugia, meat is a seasoning, not the main event. To that end, we found we could omit the veal, as the combination of beef broth and pancetta (plus a simmered rind of Parmesan) gave our soup a wonderfully savory depth that enhanced the vegetables without competing with them.

For their clean vegetal flavors and year-round availability, we opted for scallions, asparagus, artichoke hearts and frozen peas. By cooking the vegetables in sequence—starting with the sturdiest, ending with the most delicate—each ingredient retains its character, ensuring that they’re not overcooked. The artichoke hearts are simmered first, then the asparagus, followed by the peas, all topped with a finishing sprinkle of scallion greens for a burst of zingy freshness.

Each bite of the finished soup is a spoonful of spring in a bowl, no matter the season.