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Puree of Spring Greens

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

For some years, my family has belonged to a community-supported farm. In late spring, there is a plethora of greens of all kinds—Asian greens, spinach, and lettuce. At some point there seems to be more than can be used in a week, even by my veggie-loving family. That’s when I turn to this recipe—it has become an annual tradition! Make sure all greens are very well washed.

6 to 8 servings

CostInexpensive

Total Timeunder 1 hour

One Pot MealYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Courseappetizer

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, high fiber, kosher, lactose-free, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, low-fat, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Equipmentfood processor

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturecreamy, frothy, garlicky, rich, savory

Type of Dishhot soup, vegetable

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups water with 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 bunch Asian greens, any variety, thick midribs trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped (see Note)
  • 8 to 10 ounces fresh spinach, well washed and stemmed
  • 2 heads green lettuce, coarsely chopped
  • ½ to 1 cup parsley leaves
  • 1 to 2 cups rice milk, or as needed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Silk creamer for garnish, optional

Instructions

  1. 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.

  2. Add the water with bouillon cubes and the potatoes. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently until the potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.

  3. Add the Asian greens and cover. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Add the spinach leaves and cover; cook just until they wilt down.

  4. Add the lettuce and parsley and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, or until all the greens are just tender.

  5. Puree the mixture in batches until smooth in a food processor. Return to the soup pot and stir in enough rice milk to give the soup a slightly thick consistency. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

  6. For an optional, pretty garnish, pour some creamer into a small-spouted pitcher and pour a spiral design onto the top of each serving.

  7. For Asian greens, you can use a small bunch of regular or baby bok choy, tatsoi, or mizuna.

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This is a delicious, intensely green soup, both in color and flavor. It is fun to reduce a huge pile of various leafy greens into a soup. It's super healthy and satisfying, and both my kids ate it willingly, which is a plus. Use an immersion blender, if you can -- it makes things easier. And use a very large pot, because although the greens wilt down, they start out quite voluminous.

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