Puree of Spring or Summer Greens
Here’s a soup designed to make the most of kale or chard, spinach, arugula, and lettuces when they become too abundant. For some years, my family belonged to a community-supported farm. There was always an explosion of greens of all kinds—kale, chard, Asian greens, spinach, lettuce, and more. When greens threaten to take over the fridge, I turn to this recipe, which has become an annual tradition! If you love greens and have plenty of them, you’ll find this nourishing recipe useful as well as delicious. Make sure all greens are very well washed. Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons. Photo by Theresa Raffetto.
Serves: 6 to 8
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 32-ounce container low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon salt-free seasoning blend (such as Frontier or Mrs. Dash)
- 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 bunch kale (curly or lacinato) or chard, coarsely chopped
- 8 to 10 ounces spinach (any variety), arugula, Asian greens, or a combination
- 2 small heads green lettuce, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup parsley leaves
- 1 plain unsweetened rice milk or other nondairy milk , or as needed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Vegan Sour Cream or Cashew Cream for garnish, optional
- Whole-grain croutons for garnish, optional
Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
Add the broth and potatoes. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently until the potatoes are nearly tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the kale or chard. Continue to simmer gently, covered for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the potatoes and greens are tender. Add the spinach (and/or other tender greens) and cover; cook just until they wilt down.
Add the lettuce leaves and parsley and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, or until all the greens are just tender.
Puree the mixture in batches until smooth in a food processor or blender, then return to the soup pot. Or, better yet, simply insert an immersion blender into the soup pot and puree until smooth. Stir in enough rice milk to give the soup a slightly thick consistency. Stir in lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.
If you’d like, garnish with sour cream or cashew cream and/or a few crisp croutons. Serve hot or warm.