Yesterday was a frantic but fun day for me. Starting at dawn, I brainstormed with web developer Dan Fennell about the redesign (it’s coming, folks!) of my website. Then I worked on the grounds here, in a vain attempt to make the place presentable in time for Saturday’s big Garden Conservancy tour. And last but by no means least, I made a pot of Lettuce Soup!
Lettuce Soup is a terrific way to celebrate leafy greens from the home garden or farmers’ market. My version, which counts romaine lettuce, potatoes, chicken stock, and lemon juice among its list of simple ingredients, is absolutely delicious. It’s delicious hot, warm, or cold. Cold from the fridge, the soup makes a fine first course for a summertime dinner party.
Here’s the step-by-step recipe:
To start, peel and roughly chop a big white onion.
Then peel and chop 2 cloves of garlic. Garlic is an important note in this summer samba.
Next, fetch 2 large russet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)…
And peel and coarsely dice them.
Then violently whack up 10 chive stems…
And 20 leaves of lovage.
No lovage in your garden? Omit the herb. The soup will be marvelous without any lovage at all.
Not optional is the lettuce! Run out to your garden or local farmers’ market and return with 2 big heads of romaine (about 2 pounds). Wash and roughly chop the leaves.
Our prep work is complete! It’s time to
take a nap assemble the soup.
Put 1 generous tablespoon of butter and a glug of olive oil in a large soup pot of Dutch oven, and heat them gently over a low flame.
Add the onions, give them a quick stir, then cover the pot. Let the onions “sweat” until soft — about 5 minutes.
Action shot: Add the garlic and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and saute for just 1 minute.
Now add the potatoes…
And 6 cups of unsalted chicken stock…
And 1 whole teaspoon of dried thyme leaves (triple the amount for fresh leaves).
Bring the works to boil over high heat. Then cover the pot, lower the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are definitely tender — about 30 minutes.
When the potatoes are done, add the lettuce and chives. You will think you have waaaay too much lettuce. But just add the leaves gradually, pushing them down with a wooden spoon as you go, so they wilt in the hot liquid.
Then add the juice of half a lemon.
You’ll want to clutch your pearls for this next step:
Add 1 1/2 cups of sour cream. Obviously this isn’t a diet soup. It’s just a delicious, delightful, and de-lovely soup!
If you are finicky about sour cream, feel free to substitute Greek yogurt.
Working in batches, add the soup to a standard blender (an immersion blender won’t produce the creamy results you want) and whir it at high speed until thick and wonderful — about 30 seconds.
Although the soup is delicious hot, I think it’s even better when chilled for several hours or overnight. Add several grinds of black pepper before serving. Garnish each serving with snips of fresh chives, and bits of toasted croutons.
Savory lettuce, tangy sour cream, zippy lemon juice — I promise you this soup will send you over the moon. Don’t make me beg you to try it!
Oh. And please stop by for the Garden Conservancy tour here on June 25, 2016. I’d love to meet you!
Here’s the printable:
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More Seasonal Deliciousness from Kevin’s Kitchen:
A Summer Salad of Peaches, Tomatoes, Basil, and Burrata
Garlicky Summer Squash Pizza