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Green, Green, Green Soup

With the best of intentions numerous green vegetables crowd the bins and shelves of my fridge, waiting patiently to be maneuvered into recipes. The lucky ones practically fly into the salad bowl. Feeling guilty, I wrack my brain thinking of what will be palatable, easy to prepare and digest, and then, eureka! Green, Green, Green Soup went from imagined to real.

If chicken soup is a tonic and greens are the ultimate in heathy fare, imagine the boost you get from both combined.

Clockwise, rainbow chard, spinach, watercress, celery, chives, Romanesco, leeks, onion, dill

Ingredients

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3-4 c leeks, well washed and sliced
  • 3 celery stalks, peeled and sliced
  • 3 scallions, dark green part, sliced
  • 1 – 2 t kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 6 c homemade chicken stock (or your favorite boullion, liquid or cubes)
  • 1 cauliflower, white or Romanesco, cut into chunks
  • 1 bunch chard, roughly chopped (regular or rainbow chard, or kale)
  • 3 c spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch watercress, stems separated and roughly chopped
  • 3/4 c dill, finely chopped
  • 1 c croutons (optional)
  • 1 c cheddar, parmesan or goat cheese, grated or cut into small bits (optional, but highly recommended for excellent flavour; the cheddar was amazing)
  • 1 – 2 c cooked quinoa, rice or noodles (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Sweat the onion, leeks and celery, scallions, salt and pepper for 20 minutes, on low heat, with the cover on, stirring occasionally. Add cauliflower and chicken stock, covering and cooking approximately 15 minutes, until tender, before adding the chard and watercress stems. Cook 5-10 more minutes, then add the spinach and watercress. Just 5 minutes later – done. Blend in a blender or using a hand held blender. Garnish each bowl with dill, croutons and cheese of your choice.

This recipe is totally open to being prepared with whatever greens you have lurking in your fridge. If you make a big batch it can be frozen in small portions and brought along in your lunch bag as your ice-pack. Not only did you cleanse your fridge of all your well intentioned greens, but you managed to extend their nutritional value over a longer period of time.

If you used rainbow chard you can stir fry the chopped stems in a little olive oil, salt and pepper, using them to decorate the soup. Otherwise add the chopped chard stems together with the chard leaves.

The soup tasted good fully loaded with all the options or velvety smooth with just a little cheddar.

Romanesco goes a long way. One giant head is enough for 3 recipes. From raw in an appetizer platter, to cooked in a soup, to served baked or roasted au gratin.

Maybe I don't remember, but I don't think I've ever seen this beautiful rainbow chard before.

This new book on Jean Talon Market is front and center at Chapters.

The World’s Heathiest Foods site is full of information on nutrition.

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