Sunday, January 31, 2010

Green soup

This weekend was short. And delicious. Fajitas with friends on Friday night, a batch of mojo de ajo was made on Saturday (that's a whole other blog post in itself, and coming soon), and freshly-baked naan and a super quick Indian dal this evening. Oh, and ice cream yesterday night. I rarely eat ice cream - it can sometimes do a number on my stomach - but I indulged last night (oh, and this afternoon - after the gym, no less - and I'm guessing I will be again in about 30 minutes) with minimal side effects. I miss ice cream. Maybe I'll eat more often.

But this post is about something decidedly more nutritious but just as delicious. I've been hearing so much about dark, leafy greens recently, and I am embarrassed to admit, I've rarely cooked with kale or chard...until now.

Remember when I made fun of my Mom's hippie cookbook, The Vegetarian Epicure? Well, I've been falling in love with it and went on an Amazon binge a few weeks ago and bought Love Soup, Anna Thomas' most recent cookbook. It's all soup (well, mostly), all vegetarian, and it all looks delicious. I'm chomping at the bit to make her potato and leek soup this week, but the first soup I tried out was her classic Green Soup (she includes many variations, but this is it in it's most simple form).

At first I was a tad concerned: how was this soup pot full of greens going to become...soupy? But it did (with the help of a blender) and it was really superb. In fact, when I woke up last Sunday all I wanted was this soup and snuck downstairs thirty minutes before Matt and heated the leftovers - all for myself. The recipe suggests topping the soup with big croutons, a drizzle of fruity olive oil, or a white cheese (queso fresco, feta, and so on). We have a deep adoration for feta and chose that. We also ate it with a baguette - what can I say, we are forever eating cheese and bread, so it's a good thing this soup is sublimely healthy.

Green Soup

  • 1 bunch chard or spinach
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 5 scallions, sliced, white and green parts
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro
  • 1 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Marsala or dry sherry (optional)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups veggie broth
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
Serve with: fruity olive oil, crumbled fresh white cheese, or croutons.

Wash the greens, trim stems, and slice leaves. Combine with chard or spinach, kale, scallions, and cilantro in a large pot with 3 cups water and a teaspoon of salt. Peel the potato or just scrub, and cut into small pieces and add to the pot. Bring the water to a boil, turn down the flame to low, and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the onion and saute with a dash of salt in olive oil until golden brown and soft. Cook slowly and then add the caramelized onion to the soup. You can also deglaze the pan at the end with a bit of Masala or sherry (optional). In the pan where you sauteed the onion, also saute the garlic just for a minute or two and add to the pot and simmer the soup for an additional 10 minutes.

Now add enough broth to the make the soup a soup - it should pour easily from the ladle - and puree it in the blender, in batches, or use an immersion blender. Return the soup to the pot, bring it back to a simmer, and taste. Season with salt and pepper. Add a pinch of cayenne and the lemon juice. Keep tasting and adjusting the spice until it's just right.

Pop quiz, hot shot: which one is the kale and which one is the chard? Oh, you think the first one, do you? The one on the left, you say? WRONG! Trick question: that's a head of romaine. Gotcha!!

The soup, before.

And after! We sprinkled feta on top.


  1. I made the vegetable korma for my lunch, received many compliments. Think I would add more spices if I made it again--wasn't sure whether my guests would appreciate it.
    I had hoped to make naan as well, but just didn't get to it. I found the recipe in the More With Less cookebook.


  2. Glad the veggie korma worked! So you used less than the recipe called for? Hope it wasn't bland!!

    We also found a good naan recipe this weekend and made a batch this morning (made the dough last night). Turned out splendidly, but is "dangerous" to make because we've been eating it all day...with dinner and just plain, straight from the skillet.