- Course: Hot Appetizer
- Skill Level: Moderate
- Cost: Moderate
- Favorited: 7 Times
I know, parsley soup sounds strange, but to me, parsley is as much a green vegetable as an herb. Nibble on a leaf; it tastes delightfully herbaceous and pungent. Cook with huge quantities of it and you have a dish that comes forth as vibrant and revitalizing, like an invigorating tonic. Here, I’ve intensified the fresh green flavor with some mint.
- 3 cups sliced leeks, white and light green parts only
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon white rice
- 4 cups gently packed flat-leaf parsley sprigs, large stems removed
- ½ cup spearmint leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup heavy cream
Cook the leeks in the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring often until they begin to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and rice. When the soup begins to boil, cover the pot and let the soup slowly simmer at low heat for 20 minutes, or until the rice is very tender.
Stir the parsley, mint, and a few grindings of black pepper into the simmering soup and then remove it from the heat. Puree it in 2 batches in a blender until very smooth. Be very careful when doing this: Fill the blender no more than half full so that the hot soup does not splash out, and pulse it in quick spurts before switching it on continuously. Allow the blender to run at least a full minute for each batch, or until the soup is golf-course green and the texture is very smooth. Pour the soup back into the saucepan, stir in the cream (which can be left out if you like), and reheat it. Taste it and add salt if you think it needs it. If you cooked with salted canned broth the soup may not need additional salt.
PARSLEY, MINT, AND WALNUT (OR HAZELNUT) SOUP
Just before serving, whisk in 2 tablespoons of excellent-quality walnut or hazelnut oil. It will enrich the soup and harmonize with the herbal flavors. Top each bowl with a dollop of crème fraîche and a sprinkle of chopped toasted walnuts or hazelnuts.
© 2005 Jerry Traunfeld
Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.