It was drizzly, and rather chilly today…you may have heard…it’s Spring! Soup seemed like the perfect antidote to not-so-perfect weather. This soup has everything green and everything springtime in it. It’s a flexible soup, too. You can limit the mixture to 2 or 3 ingredients or expand it 5 or 6. And if that’s not enough, there are also flavor or seasoning options. The base of this soup consists of finely diced onions, celery, poblano chile (okay, that’s not so spring-y, but I had one and it need to be used…get over it!), potatoes,
peas, spinach, broth, a touch of heavy cream, roasted garlic, salt, pepper and just a few grindings of nutmeg. If you feel the soup needs to be thicker, dehydrated potato flakes or cooked rice will do the trick!
You can add finely diced fennel bulb, chopped cauliflower, leeks, scallions, ramps, scapes…these say “Spring” don’t they? By the way, if you intend to purée the soup, adding cooked rice will thicken and make the soup appear creamy, without adding the heavy cream. However, the consistency will not be as rich.
At the end, I steamed asparagus, put it in the bottom of my bowl and poured the soup on top. I absolutely love, love, love asparagus. The Latin Lover absolutely hates, hates, hates it…we’re a mixed marriage! He always says he would starve in a warehouse full of asparagus, but I’m not certain he’s that anti-asparagus! Besides, that leaves ALL of the asparagus for me. Life is good.
Cream of Green Soup
- 1 Vidalia onion, very finely diced (you may use a leek or scallions)
- 2 celery ribs, very finely diced
- 1/2 cup finely diced fennel bulb or tops (optional)
- 1 poblano chile, seeded and ribs removed (do not use a bell pepper)
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (Yukon Gold or russets are best)
- 3 cloves roasted garlic, finely chopped
- Broth to cover by at least 1 inch (or water)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup packed fresh baby spinach leaves (or 1 cup chopped frozen spinach)
- Dehydrated potato flakes (optional—to thicken, if desired)
- Extra broth (or water)
- 1-2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Choose any one of the following:
- 3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons finely julienned fresh basil
- 2-3 teaspoons curry powder, plus 1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2-3 teaspoons finely minced fresh dill
- 2 teaspoons finely julienned fresh mint
- 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest, plus 1 teaspoon tarragon
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
Place the onion, celery, poblano, potatoes and garlic in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed pot. Add water or broth to cover and place over medium heat. Simmer until the vegetables are soft and the potato is falling apart, about 20 minutes. Add the cream, peas and baby spinach; simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Add broth as needed. If you wish, use an immersion blender and purée the mixture smooth or partially smooth. If the mixture is too soupy, add some potato flakes, 1 tablespoon at a time; let stand for 5 minutes to rehydrate. Taste and correct the seasoning, adding the lemon juice if you feel the flavors need a “pop”. Serve piping hot.
NOTE: I add any of the flavorings/seasonings, except the curry powder, after I’ve prepared the soup completely. They remain fresher that way. If you don’t wish to add a poblano chile, do not substitute a bell pepper, as the flavor is much too strong and will over-power the other flavors. If you wish to flavor the soup with curry powder, add that with the onions, at the beginning of cooking.
Cream of Green Soup Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2015. All rights reserved.
You can go in any number of directions with the flavor profile of this soup; this soup is about balance. You can purée it smooth or leave it chunky (that’s my preference) or part purée, part chunky. It’s up to you. For flavor additions, finely chopped ham or cooked bacon, tear up some roasted chicken or add a poached egg to the bowl, or add a nice drizzle of sriracha or whatever you heart desires. As for seasonings,
or some Goddess Curry Dust and fresh cilantro
Anything you decide to do, will be delicious. You may serve it today, plain and tomorrow, with pesto or curry. You may leave out the cream and this will be a nutrition-packed, low calorie meal. I think that little bit of cream gives the soup body…and who doesn’t love body? Feel free to add some leftover cooked pasta or rice…here I go again with the leftovers…I’m stopping right now…go eat you dinner!