Super Green Soup
Green is definitely “IN”. Green is about the environment. The Green Team is hip. Eating greens are so good for you that greens are sold in packaging calling them, Power Greens. Greens are here to PUMP you up!
But it wasn’t always that way. In the words of Kermit the Frog, “It’s not easy being green.” Oh, can I relate.
When I was in college, I belonged to a campus organization that didn’t really do a whole lot. But they did offer an annual weekend trip to Catalina. OK, that sounded like fun. It involved a several-hour sailboat ride from Los Angeles to Catalina Island. I’d never been on a sailboat before. Never mind that I was kind of anemic back then. Okay, very anemic. Turns out, I didn’t, how shall I say, enjoy the trip. I was so busy tossing my cookies the entire time that I didn’t exactly have the time or inclination to fraternize with all my soon-to-be new best friends. I was also busily trying to figure out a plan to get myself off the island via helicopter. As soon as we arrived, I released my grip from my new friend, The Pail, and looked up. “Wow, you look green,” stated a compassionate classmate.
I disembarked and marched straight to the travel office in town. I learned that the one-way fare back to Los Angeles via copter was equivalent to my registration fees for about a year. Hmmm, no thanks. I decided to brave it. Our friendly skipper had the only helpful advice forthcoming. “Stare at one thing and don’t let your eyes wander.” I was into a zen practice before I knew what the word meant. I got myself back in one piece by staring at the same screw on the side of the boat for the duration of the trip. As for the new best friends? I don’t know what became of them. But I did bring home the worst pair of sun-burned lips I ever did see. What did I learn? When push comes to shove comes to bucket, I can be one determined little sailor.
That was then and this is now. And green is oh so very NOW. So, let’s make a green soup to celebrate and give our dinner guests a hefty portion of vitamins and minerals before they even get to the main course. Gather up whatever green veggies are in season (adding some frozen spinach will work too but use lots of fresh veggies). I was at the farmer’s market and spotted broccoli, spinach, zucchini, and dill. A Japanese farmer told me that tatsoi, a mild green I usually throw in salads, is great for stir-fry. Then why not in soup? In goes the tatsoi. Asparagus looked great but that was pegged to go with the salmon. From my herb garden, I snipped parsley and thyme. To round out the mix, from my fridge, I pulled out a large onion. two small potatoes and some celery. Garlic too. Yes, I know. Onion, garlic, potatoes. Not green. But aromatics. Yes. And thickening action from potatoes. Yes.
Kermit, things have changed. Being green may not always be easy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.
SUPER GREEN SOUP
Ingredients:2 c. (480 ml.) vegetable broth 5 c. (1.25 l.) water 3 T. olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 2 small white potatoes, diced 8 c. green veggies, – I used 2 c. spinach, 2 c. roughly chopped broccoli, 2 c. zucchini, roughly chopped and 2 c. tatsoi and baby bok choy, cut-up 2 c. chopped fresh herbs – I used mostly parsley and dill with a small amount of thyme 1/4 t. freshly grated nutmeg
Green Note: This soup is great for using all kinds of greens – try using chard, kale, asparagus. Key word: green.
Throw in a handful of fava beans for even more heft or English peas toward the end of cooking.
I sometimes use more fresh dill and leave it whole. Tie it with kitchen twine to easily pull it out of the soup .
Heat a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add oil. When oil is hot, add onion and celery and saute about 5 minutes until just soft. Add garlic and saute for one more minute.
Add potatoes, green veggies, broth and liquid to pot. Bring up to gentle boil and then simmer gently for a total of 30 minutes or until potatoes and all veggies are tender. Halfway through cooking time, add fresh herbs, freshly grated nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
Let soup cool and use an emulsifier (or blender) to emulsify half the soup. If you like it chunky like I do, then give the soup a stir and emulsify to desired chunkiness. If you like a smooth soup, continue to emulsify. Add a bit of liquid if too thick. Adjust seasonings.
Makes about 8 servings.