Soup's Up! Cream of Anything Green Soup
Soup is the ultimate shareable garden to table pleasure, full of warm and happy associations with cozy winter nights and time spent with family and friends. Make a pot for your family, or make a pot for your neighbors advises author Maggie Stuckey in her book Soup Night: Recipes for Creating Community Around a Pot of Soup, a charming prompt to open your home to company in a lo-fi way, without the pressure of multiple courses, elaborate table settings and epic clean-up. The inspiration for Stuckey's book was a tradition in one Portland, Oregon neighborhood, a soup night hosted by a different neighbor each month. Souplandia so delighted the author, she centered her cookbook around a variety of soup recipes, with some desserts thrown into the mix. In Soup Night there are soups to feed a family, or a neighborhood, arranged by season from a hearty winter Surprise Beef Stew to a Garden Gazpacho for summer. Stuckey includes tips in her book for readers who'd like to start their own neighborhood soup night.
Those of you with crops in the ground will appreciate Stuckey's recipe for a soup using whatever you've planted in your fall garden. Talk about easy. Stuckey says the soup works just as well with non-green winter vegetables like carrots or cauliflower. Sounds like this soup recipe is a good one to stick on the fridge to have ready to go whenever hunger calls and the raised beds are bursting with greens.
Cream of Anything Green Soup
Excerpted from Soup Night, by Maggie Stuckey, used with permission from Storey Publishing
- An onion
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic and enough olive oil to saute them in
- Several cups of any chopped fresh green vegetable: broccoli, spinach, kale, or any combination thereof
- An equal amount of chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water—or a combination
- A pinch of your favorite herbs or spices
- A little bit of nonfat sour cream
- Red pepper puree, for garnish
1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Dice the onion and saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Mince the garlic, add it in, and saute 1 minute longer.
2. Cut the veggies into small chunks, tossing them into the pot and gently sauteing as you continue chopping. Add the broth along with any herbs or spices you think would complement the vegetables. I often use a spice blend called Shallot Pepper from Penzey's. Personally, I think it's misnamed, because the main flavor is tarragon, which is a wonderful addition to this soup. Actually, it's wonderful in many things; I'm never without it.
3. Bring the soup to a boil, then simmer until the vegetables are very tender. Transfer the soup to a blender (careful, it's hot) and puree until smooth, or use an immersion blender and puree the soup right in the pot.
4. Extra step but worth it: Strain the soup through a fine sieve to remove any stringy fibers or tough bits.
5. Return the soup to the pot, reheat gently if needed, and then whisk in the sour cream (a little goes a long way).
6. A swirl of pureed roasted red peppers (from a jar) makes the soup pretty enough for company.