by Jill Boruff
Each week we receive a lovely basket of organic veggies from a local farmer. Most of the time, we manage to eat the deliciousness before the next batch arrives the following week. However, in the past two weeks, we received three heads of lettuce–more lettuce then two people can possibly keep up with. I love big green salads, but there are only so many that I can handle in a week. I certainly didn’t want the lettuce to go to waste. A colleague at work had mentioned lettuce soup, so I turned to the Internet, and found the following soup recipe in the New York Times. Though I was a little skeptical at first, the soup turned out to be really good. It is much like a leek and potato soup, but with the taste of lettuce coming through instead of leek (obviously).
If you want to see the original recipe (and much better food photography) check out the original article.
The author says that this is a good way to use up the tough outer leaves of a head of lettuce. I am not sure that I agree. I cut out the extremely tough and woody parts of the lettuce and only threw in a few of the tough outer leaves. They didn’t purée as well, and I am not sure what the soup would have been like if it had been made with all tough leaves.
Also, it doesn’t really matter how well you chop things, as it is all going to get puréed at the end.
Lettuce and Potato Soup (adapted from Martha Rose Shulman in the New York Times)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly minced
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and roughly diced
6 cups water
Three long springs of fresh thyme, rinsed (a bay leaf would be nice, too)
Salt to taste
5 ounces or about 4 cups lettuce leaves, washed and coarsely chopped (I think I added a bit more)
Freshly ground pepper
1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and the garlic and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the potatoes, water, and thyme, and bring to a simmer. Add salt to taste, cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.
2. Stir in the lettuce leaves and continue to simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes. The potatoes should be thoroughly tender and falling apart.
3. Using an immersion blender, or in a blender blend the soup until smooth. Add lots of freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt. Enjoy!
Check out Jill’s bio on the Contributors page