For us localvores, spring cooking and eating is an exciting and challenging time of the year. The root vegetables in the cellar are looking pretty sorry, and the garden isn’t up to full production. Fortunately, there are a number of talented local farmers, and the first greens of the season are starting to appear in markets.
The recipe for Spring Green Soup is simply a variation of the classic preparation of Potato Leek Soup. Chopped greens like spinach or kale are simmered with onions and / or leeks and potatoes, pureed until silky smooth in a blender or food processor, and seasoned with herbs, sea salt and pepper. You may choose to start the preparation by sautéing the onions in oil, or skip the first step and the fat and just cook everything in chicken or vegetable stock.
Visually, the spring green color of this soup is quite beautiful, and it has an elegant texture; but some folks may find the flavors bland. When I made a quick batch of this soup with some frozen leeks and fresh kale, I knew it would be totally unappealing to my meat-loving husband.
For lunch, I added chopped smoked turkey breast and spiced up the flavors with salsa. We enjoyed Spring Green Soup served with tortilla chips and a dollop of sour cream. Another time, I might add even more heat with some chopped jalapenos.
The most delicious version was a late evening, frantic, last-minute supper. The contents of our refrigerator contained only leftover cooked seafood and three jars of this soup. Two chopped lobster tails sautéed quickly in a spicy Asian lemongrass dressing, added to the heated soup, and finished with a swirl of Greek yogurt. After inhaling the first mouthful, my husband smiled at me and said, “Tastes like something from an expensive, high-end restaurant. Have you considered selling this?!”
Spring Green Soup
- 1 tablespoon butter or oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 3 medium potatoes, (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled and cut into cubes
- 3 cups chopped greens and onions (I used leeks, onions, and kale)
- sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley or dried thyme
- 6 tablespoons cream (optional)
- chopped smoked turkey
- Emily's Taco Sauce
- Sour Cream
Variation... lobster tails
- Asian Lemongrass Dressing
- chopped lobster tail
- 1 dollop sour cream or Greek yogurt
- In a heavy soup pot, heat the butter or oil and add the garlic. Soften, stirring frequently, then add the chopped greens and onions. Stir to coat and cook until they start to soften. If they stick to the bottom of the pot, add some stock. Add the stock and potatoes and simmer the mixture until the potatoes are cooked and just start to break down. Working in small batches, puree the soup in the bowl of your food processor or blender. Return the soup to the pot and season to taste with sea salt and fresh pepper, chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried thyme. Serve the soup warm in heated soup plates. Garnish each bowl with a dollop of cream or sour cream. Makes six servings.
- Add chopped smoked turkey to each bowl, top with Emily’s Taco Salsa and sour cream.
- Sauté chopped lobster tails in Asian Lemongrass Dressing and add to each bowl. Top with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.