Green Soup

I don’t think I’ve shared with you all yet the deliciousness that is Green Soup! Who doesn’t need more leafy greens in their life? This pureed soup packs a nutritional punch! I like to serve a small bowl before supper for an extra serving of veggies. Variations are rather endless, so find your favorite combination of greens and spices. Perhaps the first time you can try the “original” recipe, but then your brain and palate can lead you from there.

The soup is a bit labor intensive, but it is worth the effort every time.

I must credit Anna Thomas for this recipe. She published a wonderful cookbook a couple of years ago called Love Soup. I’ve checked it out from the library many times. The cookbook is sectioned by season and she offers several menu ideas. And for those that care, her recipes are all vegetarian. Every time I flip through the pages I see more soups I want to try. She includes a half a dozen Green Soup recipes.

I know winter is coming to a close, but this soup is light and year-round worthy, in my opinion. I hope you enjoy (despite the un-photogenic nature of the soup!). 🙂

GREEN SOUP
(from Love Soup by Anna Thomas)
Print This Recipe

1 bunch of chard or spinach (8 oz)
1 bunch kale (8 oz)
4-5 green onions, sliced
1/2 c. loosely packed cilantro
1 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
3 Tbsp Arborio rice
1 medium onion
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
Marsala or dry sherry (opt.)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2-3 c. vegetable broth
fresh ground pepper
cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Wash the greens thoroughly, trim off stem, and slice leaves. In a large soup pot, combine the chard or spinach, kale, green onions, cilantro, Arborio rice, 1 tsp salt, and 3 cups water. Bring water to a boil, turn down to low, cover the pot and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the onion, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet and cook the onion with a small sprinkle of salt over medium until it is golden brown and soft. This will take up to 30 minutes. Don’t hurry, just stir it once in a while. Once cooked, you can deglaze the pan at the end with a bit of Marsala or sherry.

Add the caramelized onion to the soup. Put remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil in the onion skillet and stir the garlic in it for about a minute. Add garlic to the pot and simmer the soup for 10 more minutes.

Add enough broth to make the soup a soup–it should pour easily from a ladle–and puree it in the blender, in batches, or use an immersion blender and blend in the pot.

Bring the soup back to a simmer, and taste. Add more salt if needed, grind in a little black pepper, add a pinch of cayenne pepper and a Tbsp of lemon juice. Stir well and taste again. Adjust any seasonings to taste.

Garnish with a swirl of extra virgin olive oil.

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On the Side: Chipotle Cheddar Chard

We’re all in need of a little more green in our lives–be that greenbacks, a green thumb, or green consciousness. I’d happily have a little more of any of that in my life, but one green thing I’m always searching for is new recipes for greens. Typically I make a batch of green soup to enjoy throughout the week. But sometimes that just doesn’t cut it.

My default bunch of greens to purchase at the grocery or farmer’s market is usually spinach or kale. However, in an attempt to bring versatility to our diet and knowing greens are the heavy lifters of good nutrients, I’ve been experimenting with other varieties and recipes.

Last week I grabbed a bunch of swiss chard and tried out this recipe from the new cookbook The Simple Art of Eating Well. My greens-hesitant husband asked for the leftovers in his lunch. The chipotle powder adds a delightful smoky edge to this tasty, cheesy dish.

CHIPOTLE CHEDDAR CHARD
(from The Simple Art of Eating Well)
Print This Recipe

1 lb chard
2 tsp canola oil
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 c. chicken broth or water
1/4-1/2 tsp ground chipotle powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Wash chard and let water cling to the leaves (it helps steam the chard and keeps the dish room drying out); separate stems and leaves and chop.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the stems and onion; cook, stirring often, until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add tomato, broth (or water), chipotle to taste and salt; bring to a simmer. Add the leaves; cook, covered, stirring once, until just tender, about 2 minutes. Scatter cheese on top and cook, uncovered, until it is melted, 1-2 minutes more. Serves 4-6.