Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Green Soup

This is a recipe that highlights flexibility and resourcefulness. It's also simple, comforting, and delicious with cheese and crackers, similar to tomato soup.

I usually make green soup in tandem with poached chicken, using the broth from the chicken for the soup.

If you don't have broth, just make it with seasoned water and it'll come out fine. If you don't have potatoes, use lentils, chick peas or white beans to thicken it up.


 
Ingredients 

4-5 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
1 - 2 bay leaves (optional)
1 tsp thyme

1 cup chopped celery
2-3 cubed potatoes, or 1 can lentils, or white beans (1.5 - 2 cups cooked beans)
1.5-2 lbs various chopped fresh or frozen greens and herbs (parsley, escarole, romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, swiss chard, etc)
Lemon zest and juice from one lemon, or 1/4 diced preserved lemon
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
Dash of nutmeg (optional)
Tsp of white pepper (optional)
Hot pepper flakes or cayenne pepper to taste (optional)
Salt to taste (less salt if using preserved lemon - they are very salty)
Lots of black pepper
Olive oil and/or Romano cheese to serve (optional)


In a large pot heat the broth/water on high until boiling and add the potatoes or beans, celery, lemon zest, herbs and spices. Lower the heat to medium and cook until tender (or heated through for the already cooked beans).

Add the greens and lemon juice (or optional white wine) and lower the temperature to a low simmer for about 5 minutes. It might take longer for tougher greens like kale. yet less time for baby spinach. The greens should be just wilted.

Once the greens are wilted, remove from the heat, remove the bay leaves, and (carefully) use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Season to taste with nutmeg, white pepper, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt. 

Serve hot in bowls with a drizzle of nice grassy olive oil and a generous sprinkling of Romano cheese. Pesto is also good with this soup. I have been known to drink it straight out of mason jars like a smoothie in a pinch. It is even good at room temp or just slightly warm.

This soup keeps in the fridge for about a week if using vegetarian broth, freeze leftovers within 4 or 5 days if using chicken broth.