Cream of Lettuce Soup
This soup has quickly become one of my favorites. It is so simple to make and so healthy. You can use whatever type of lettuce you have available. Romain works well, but my favorite is a bright and peppery butter lettuce just harvested from the garden. As for the meat stock, chicken will work, although beef broth seems to give the dish a bit more richness, which seems preferable on chilly nights. This was a go-to soup during a recently recovery from surgery because lettuces provide good amounts of Vitamins A and C, but are also high in water and fiber content, which can be very beneficial when one is relegated to bed rest.
2 1/4 cups of milk
2 1/4 cups of meat stock
3 bunches of lettuce of your preference
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Salt and pepper
1. Bring the milk and stock to a boil. Season with salt, add the lettuces and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Transfer to a food processor and process to a puree, then pour into a clean pan.
3. Melt the butter in another pan, stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 3-5 minutes, then stir into the puree and season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Simmer for 15 minutes.
5. Lightly beat the egg yolk with a Parmesan in a bowl and gradually pour into the soup, stirring constantly.
6. Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream and add a parsley or cilantro leaf as garnish as desired
Cream of Spinach Soup
4 cups of meat stock
3 tablespoons of butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups of wilted spinach
3 tablesppons lemon jiuce, strained
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Spanish or Hungarian paprika to garnish
1. Bring the meat stock to a boil.
2. Melt the butter in another pan, add the onions and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until softened.
3. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, then gradually stir in the hot stock.
4. Add the spinach adn simmer for about 20 minutes.
5. Stir in the lemon juice, then transfer to a food processor and process to a puree.
6. Pour into a pan, season with salt and pepper to taste, stir in the cream and simmer briefly.
7. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
8. Pour into individual soup plates and garnish with a swirl of cream sprinkled with a pinch of paprika.
Egg Drop Spinach Soup
As a kid, my mom would take me to this tiny local Italian restaurant that had fabulous egg drop soup. I tried and tried to replicate the same delicate flavor palate using various recipes and deviations of those recipes. Then one day, without referencing any data, I stumbled my way to a recipe that successfully combines the flavor of fresh spinach, the hearty undertones of a good broth and the rich creaminess of fresh eggs. Even better, it makes use of many of the ingredients readily available in my southern winter garden and what's in my green house.
This recipe makes 4 appetizer or 2 main entree servings.
2 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of fresh spinach leaves
3 teaspoons sauteed white onions
2 large eggs, scrambled lightly
Nutmeg, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper , to taste
1. In a medium sauce pan, add the spinach and sauteed onions to the warm chicken stock
2. Sprinkle in the nutmeg
3. Once the spinach has wilted, gently pour in the scrambled eggs and allow the egg to solidify, then immediately remove the pan from the heat.
4. Season with black pepper and serve warm.