Surprises from the garden: lettuce soup

I love a good salad. A big one. My mother calls it rabbit food these days though when I was a child there was always so much of it in our vegetable garden that we shared it with the neighbourhood throughout the season, and I remember plenty of it on my plate too. I love lettuce! Fresh. Crisp yet buttery soft. Green. But until recently I had no idea you could also cook with it. That is, endive is a lettuce I cook with all the time as well as serve stuffed for a fancy apero. But plain, green lettuce? I didn't know! So, today is the day. This morning I deemed it time to pick the lettuce we had growing in planters in our concrete garden and for the first time ever, I'll be turning it into lettuce soup. Dear friends who make this all the time kindly shared their recipe, and as per usual in my kitchen, I'll give it my own touch. Join me!


Lettuce Soup Ingredients

  • 1 head of lettuce chopped
  • 2 medium or 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic  (or as you wish) minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • butter or olive oil or neutral oil like sunflower
  • 2 L (about 8.5 cups) vegetable broth and/or chicken broth
  • 1/2 (half) packet of round toast (the Dutch kind is excellent if you can find it - I used Brioche because that's all that was available here
  • pepper (salt if you wish to add)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground celery or to taste (can also use celery salt but taste before adding more salt to the soup)
  • fresh chives and/or parsley chopped but dried herbs also work
  • optional garnish: slice of Boursin herb cheese; some sauteed spinach and garlic would also be excellent

Lettuce Soup Method

  • Melt butter
  • Add the onions
  • Sauté until glassy (don't brown them)
  • Add thoroughly washed and roughly chopped lettuce
  • Stir well
  • Meanwhile crumble toast (in the package or in a plastic bag with a heavy tool works well)
  • Add toast to the pot
  • Add vegetable or chicken broth (or a blend)
  • Season with pepper and ground celery (and salt if needed)
  • Stir well
  • Cover and simmer for 20 or 30 or so minutes
  • Blend the soup with hand blender
  • Taste and adjust
  • Add the chopped fresh herbs and simmer 5 minutes
  • Serve (with a dollop Boursin if you wish)

And that's it! This recipe is very flexible. The next time I make it, I may add a carrot for some colour specks and perhaps add only 1/3 a packet of toasts instead of half. If you wish to make it 'light' just omit butter and Boursin garnish. Super simple and quick. Delicious. Great companion meal to a simple sandwich. Let us know in the Facebook group how you liked it.



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