Friday, 15 March 2013

Green Things Soup

Like the name says, this soup is green!

I make this soup all the time and I've shared the recipe so many times with satisfied friends that I've lost count so it must be good.

It's quick and really easy to make with any green vegetables you may have on hand.  It freezes well and best of all, it's healthy.  You can serve it to guests with a pretty garnish or whip it up in no time as part of a casual family meal.

I've split the recipe in two.  The first part is the Soup Base and it's always the same.  The second part is the "Greens" and this is where you can add whatever green vegetables you'd like.  Broccoli, kohlrabi, bok choy, kale, lettuce, spinach - basically, any combination that you'd like.  I often add a mix of whatever green vegetables I happen to have on hand or to do justice to the very best seasonal greens I find in the local markets.  It's also a fabulous way to do justice to fresh spring peas.

It contains some dairy but you can easily make a vegan version by replacing the milk with almonds and it still tastes great.

Go green!

Green Things Soup

Four vegetable broth cubes that I like
Makes 4 servings 

Sieve, fine or coarse

Soup Base
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1/2 cup coarsely chopped leeks or green onions or a mixture of the two
1/2 cup coarsely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped raw potato
1/2 cup milk(2% or full fat) OR
1/4 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped

3 cups vegetable broth OR 2 cups water with 1 vegetable broth cube

The Greens
1/2 cup chopped broccoli or kohlrabi or kale, asparagus or combination
1/2 cup fresh peas*  frozen peas or chopped snow peas or sugar snap peas or a combination
2 cups spinach, Swiss chard or water cress or any combination

1.  Heat the oil or butter in a large saucepan.  Add the leeks or green onions with the celery and sauté on low-medium heat until fragrant and soft.
2.  Add the 1/2 cup of milk,  2 cups of water with the vegetable broth cube or the vegetable stock.  Add the chopped potato.If you're using chopped almonds instead of milk, add them now. 
3.  Turn the heat to low and simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes or until the potato is soft.
4.  Add the broccoli, the last cup of water and bring to a boil.  Add the peas and turn off the heat.  Stir in the spinach, chard or watercress and stir them into the soup until they wilt.
5.  Let the soup cool for about 1/2 hour.
6.  Pour the mixture into a blender and blend on high until the soup becomes a homogeneous green. While you're puréeing the soup, set your sieve over a clean saucepan.  Once the mixture is fully blended, strain the soup through the sieve and push it through using a spatula.
7.  Reheat the soup on low temperature or serve cold, as you wish.

*If you're using fresh spring peas, I recommend  that you blanch the peas for 2 minutes in boiling, salted water and cool them in an ice bath.  You shouldadd them to the blender just before you are about to purée the mixture.  This way you'll preserve the peas' fresh, delicate flavour that would otherwise be lost were you to cook them earlier along with the other vegetables.

1.  When I make this soup for dinner parties, I use a very fine sieve to give the soup an ultra-smooth, silky texture and look.  If you'd like your soup to be more rustic, use a courser sieve.

2.  As a finishing touch, you can sprinkle finely chopped chives on top, a dollop of crème fraiche or pesto.

3.  You can use any combination of greens for this soup.  I make it in the spring when the fresh peas are out and I use leeks instead of onions so the flavour of the peas stands out. 


M said...

Gustia! The (green) post-it recipe you hand wrote out for me almost a decade ago lives on on my refigerator, and I am glad to see you are letting your circle in on some secrets, so others can attempt to produce the magical and marvellous effect Big Daddy cherishes -- 'you'd think you were eating tubs of crème fraîche, but you're not. It's vegetables.'

Barbara Lilian in France said...

Thanks for your great green soup recipe, can't wait for all the new fresh green vegs are in season. Looks and sounds absolutely delicious. This will certainly be going into my recipe folder.

Elizabeth at Eiffel Tells said...

I am printing this recipe now - it sounds delish! Warm regards

Heather Robinson said...

Now, what pulled me right in was the pause when I realized "Hey, I bet she didn't even push the saturation in Photoshop on that photo, it really IS that green!!!" Will be making this and thank you...

Now this is my kind of St. Paddy's Day post!;)

Gustia said...

No pushing on that photo for sure! The only things that got pushed were the two handfuls of spinach I pushed into the mix near the end of cooking. You really should give it a go. It's a staple chez nous. Happy St Patricks Day to you!