Meatless Monday: Eat Your Greens!
Dark, leafy greens are some of the most nutrient-packed foods around. The more you can integrate them into your diet, the better. Here’s an easy recipe that includes a huge amount of greens. Like all soups, the flavors will mellow over time, so make a big batch and enjoy it over a few days.
Anna Thomas is the author of four cookbooks, including the original Vegetarian Epicure, one of the first gourmet vegetarian books published, back in the 1972. She knows her stuff. As with last week’s vegan chili recipe, feel free to use this recipe as a jumping off point for your own culinary explorations.
Many thanks to Jodi Mardesich for contributing this recipe. She found it on food52.com.
Anna Thomas’s Green Soup
- 1 bunch chard or spinach
- 1 bunch kale
- 4 to 5 green onions, sliced, white and green parts
- 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1 medium Yukon Gold potato
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- Marsala or dry sherry (optional)
- 1 to 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups vegetable broth
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
- Wash the greens thoroughly, trim off their stems, and slice the leaves. Combine the chard or spinach, kale, green onions, and cilantro in a large soup pot with 3 cups water and a teaspoon of salt. Peel the potato, or just scrub it well if you prefer, cut it into small pieces, and add it to the pot. Bring the water a boil, turn down the flame to low, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer for about half an hour.
- Meanwhile, chop the onion, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet, and cook the onion with a small sprinkle of salt over medium flame until it is golden brown and soft. This will take up to half an hour. Don’t hurry; give it a stir once in a while, and let the slow cooking develop the onion’s sweetness. If you like, you can deglaze the pan at the end with a bit of Marsala or sherry — not required, but a nice touch.
- Add the caramelized onion to the soup. Put the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in the pan and stir the chopped garlic in it for just a couple of minutes, until it sizzles and smells great. Add the garlic to the pot and simmer the soup for 10 minutes more.
- Add enough of the broth to 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. Don’t overprocess, potatoes can turn gummy it you work them too much.
- Return the soup to the pot, bring it back to a simmer, and taste. Add a pitch more salt if needed, grind in a little black pepper, and add a pinch of cayenne and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir well and taste again. Now use your taste buds — correct the seasoning to your taste with a drop more lemon juice or another pinch of salt, and then serve big steaming bowls of green soup.
- Garnish with a thin drizzle of fruity olive oil.
This is a great recipe! Slow cooked soups are just great, and it is good that you pointed out that onions need a lot of time to develop that deep caramelization that makes them so sweet and earthy for soups. The slow cooking process also preserves the flavor and deep color of the greens, not to mention their nutritional value. Can’t wait to give this a try!
Thanks for your comment. I haven’t tried this yet either, but it’s on my schedule for next week. I also love caramelized onions.