I’m a big fan of hearty greens. They make great additions to rice bowls and stir fries, as well as a pretty good crisp, but these leafy plant parts can also be transformed into a vibrant, tasty soup.
Photo by Robert Judge.
Seriously, you can use any green, so just grab a bunch of whatever’s on sale and go crazy. However, as with anything high in chlorophyll, you have to take a few steps to make sure you don’t end up with a bowl of thin, grassy-tasting liquid. To make sure your soup tastes warm and inviting, and not like a hot smoothie, you’ll need a little help from aromatics, herbs and starch. This is a kind of choose your own flavour adventure situation. A small onion, a couple of cloves of garlic or a small bunch of spring alliums like spring onions or baby leeks are all great options. Get some of your favourite herbs in there too, I like rosemary or even some lemony sorrel. For the starch, grab a potato. You could also use a couple of tablespoons of rice, but potatoes are much more fun.
Click the link below for full instructions and exact measurements, but once you’ve gathered your bounty green things (and potatoes!) you’ll strip the leaves from their stalks and blanch them for a few minutes in boiling water. Remove them and place them in some ice water, setting the cooking water aside for later. Saute your alliums in some tasty oil cook until soft. Add the rest of your herbs (give ’em a few stirs until wilted), the chopped potato, the chopped greens and some of the reserved cooking water. Simmer until your starch is fully cooked, let cool and blend it up! Top with something creamy (like homemade crème fraîche) and something crunchy, like croutons.