Monday, January 23, 2012

Lettuce Soup

As a dorky Aerogarden owner (I don't know! I just really wanted one), I sometimes have problems finding a use for the harvest, especially if I've neglected it and it's become a jungly Aerowreck. (By the way, I am not endorsing this product. If you want to grow basil, it's great. That's all I have to say.)

I currently have a custom lettuce mix they sent me after my last crop failed. It is doing okay, but I didn't groom it for a while, and a couple lettuces grew big and strong and stretched their brawny obnoxious leaves over the smaller, weaker, emo lettuces, who then became even more pathetic. Once I became aware of the strife, I did a major weeding and looked for a quick recipe. I didn't want to make a salad because these are peppery lettuces, too intense on their own for salad. I found this soup. It was easy, I had all the ingredients on hand, it tastes good, and most importantly, it is very beautiful. Taste it before adding salt, especially if your stock is salted. The goat cheese is nice but not crucial.

The recipe is pasted below, but here is the link, in case you enjoy reading recipe reviews by lunatics ("I didn't have any lettuce, so I substituted french fries, and I didn't have any stock, so I used Diet Pepsi. I would not make this again. Not much lettuce flavor.") as much as I do.

Creamy Arugula and Lettuce Soup with Goat Cheese


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
3/4 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup chopped, about 2 ounces, assorted lettuce (butter, red leaf, green leaf)
2 cups (2 ounces) arugula or spinach leaves
1/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Garnish: 2 1/2 ounces goat cheese, sliced

In a medium pot warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until tender and starting to brown, about 4 minutes. Add the potatoes and the stock. Bring the stock to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer, covered, until the potatoes are almost tender, about 20 minutes. Add the arugula and lettuce to the pot and continue simmering, uncovered until the greens are tender, another 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the potatoes and greens to a blender. Pour in enough of the stock to cover the vegetables. Add the cream, salt, and pepper.

*Blend the ingredients together until smooth. Be careful to blend slowly at first with a kitchen towel held tight to the top of the blender lid. Blending hot ingredients can cause the lid to blow off. Pour the blended soup back into the pot with the remaining stock. Stir to combine. Cover and keep warm.

Pour the soup into 4 serving bowls. Top each soup with 1/2-ounce sliced goat cheese. Serve immediately.

* When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.


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