Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Soup I'm Kinda Proud Of

No I suppose it's not particularly festive or particularly Americana but towards the end of the week I like to use up what's left in the fridge before I hit the farmer's market and fill up the crisper bins again. This week I seemed to have a lot of lettuce. At the market it just looked so fresh and green and beautiful I couldn't resist. Then I wasn't here to eat it. So, I returned home to a collection of once beautiful lettuces maybe a bit past their prime.
I could do a quick lettuce pesto for the freezer. But I decided on soup. A smooth green puree of lettuce and in this case peas -- I had a handful or so of those left too.
I started a pot with olive oil and butter. When the oil was hot I added in one chopped onion and a couple cloves of minced garlic. I cooked the onion until soft but not colored and added in two russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes, the shelled peas -- probably about 1 cup -- and two heads of lettuce torn into pieces. Normally I would use soft butter lettuces for this type of soup but I only had one butter and a crisp romaine. Because my butter lettuce was a red leaf I worried about the eventual color of my soup so I tossed in a handful of flat leaf parsley for a bit of bright flavor and color. Along with the lettuces I poured in about 4 cups of chicken broth -- for a lighter soup I could have used water. I brought the liquid up to a simmer and allowed the pot to bubble until the potatoes were tender -- about 15 minutes.
While puréeing the soup in the blender I seasoned the mixture with S&P and added in a small handful of basil leaves for more bright color and flavor.
I served this creamy, mildly flavored soup with an assertive arugula pesto (arugula, olive oil, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, almonds, garlic, S&P) -- more salad leaf leftovers -- and garlic flavored cornbread croutons.
Soup for dinner and a cleaner fridge.

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