Soups can be very simple yet very healthy and delicious. This is one of those soups.
This is healthy soup of mixed greens that pops with flavors. The spinach adds an earthy touch and the sorrel/gongura leaves add a tart flavor that freshens the soup and shines. I loved the flavors and the accents of the herbs, with a slice of toasted bread, this was a very nice and light dinner. Most importantly, this is one of those soups you can put together in about 30 minutes to great effect.
This is a wonderful cookbook that specializes in soups for all seasons. Deborah Madison is one of the first chefs to start the farm-to-table movement in the Bay Area and her recipes reflect her expertise with vegetables and fresh produce. I have a number of her wonderful cookbooks, each one a masterpiece.
For more wonderful soup recipes from this cookbook, click here.
2 tablespoons butter
1 large leek, washed well, halved and thinly sliced
2 small potatoes, peeled and cubed into small bits
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups spinach, well washed and stems removed
4 cups lettuce, washed well and tough stems removed
2 cups sorrel, or gongura, well washed and all stems removed
2 tablespoons parsley, or 1 tablespoon dried
2 tablespoons basil, or 1 tablespoon dried
1 tablespoon tarragon or 1/2 tablespoon dried
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon pepper
5-6 cups water, vegetable stock or chicken stock
1/2 cup cream or milk (leave out for vegan version)
Juice of 1 lemon or 1/2 lime
Herbs minced to garnish
Lime wedges to garnish
Heat the butter in a stock pot on medium heat and add the leeks, potatoes and garlic. Cook till soft but not colored, about 4-5 minutes taking care not to brown the mix.
Add the spinach, lettuce, sorrel or gongura, parsley, basil, tarragon, salt, pepper and water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes. Check that the potatoes are soft and disintegrating. Cool. Add the cream or milk.
Purée the soup using a hand blender or in a regular blender till very smooth. The soup should have a thick consistency, that of a light cream. Add the lemon or lime juice and taste for salt and tartness. For a professional version, pass through a medium sieve strainer to remove and fibers from the elaves that are not puréed, and work with a rubber spatula to extract all the liquids.
To serve, in bowls heated well with a garnish of fresh herbs, a lime wedge and croutons if desired, or toast on the side.