Author Notes: This is an excellent recipe, but also a template. You could use any greens, and any herbs. Instead of the potato, Thomas has bolstered the broth with arborio rice, yams, sautéed mushrooms, or squash. The caramelized onions are key for filling out the flavor of the soup, but there’s no reason you couldn’t use shallots or leeks instead. It’s good for dinner parties, for brown bag lunches, and for dinners alone with a fridge of greens you don’t know what to do with. Thomas has also used the soup to comfort very sick friends, who said it restored their appetite and brought them back to life a bit. Recipe adapted from
Serves: 4 to 6
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 50 min
- 1bunch chard or spinach
- 1bunch kale
- 4to 5 green onions, sliced, white and green parts
- 1/2cup loosely packed cilantro
- 1teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
- 1medium Yukon Gold potato
- 1medium yellow onion
- 1 1/2tablespoons olive oil
- 1splash Marsala or dry sherry (optional)
- 1or 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 1/2cups vegetable broth
- 1pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 1pinch cayenne
- 1tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
- Wash the greens thoroughly, trim off their stems, and slice the leaves. Combine the chard or spinach, kale, green onions, and cilantro in a large soup pot with 3 cups water and a teaspoon of salt. Peel the potato, or just scrub it well if you prefer, cut it into small pieces, and add it to the pot. Bring the water a boil, turn down the flame to low, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer for about half an hour.
- Meanwhile, chop the onion, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet, and cook the onion with a small sprinkle of salt over medium flame until it is golden brown and soft. This will take up to half an hour. Don’t hurry; give it a stir once in a while, and let the slow cooking develop the onion’s sweetness. If you like, you can deglaze the pan at the end with a bit of Marsala or sherry — not required, but a nice touch.
- Add the caramelized onion to the soup. Put the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil in the pan and stir the chopped garlic in it for just a couple of minutes, until it sizzles and smells great. Add the garlic to the pot and simmer the soup for 10 minutes more.
- Add enough of the broth to make the soup a soup — it should pour easily from the ladle and puree it in the blender, in batches, or use an immersion blender. Don’t overprocess, potatoes can turn gummy it you work them too much.
- Return the soup to the pot, bring it back to a simmer, and taste. Add a pitch more salt if needed, grind in a little black pepper, and add a pinch of cayenne and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir well and taste again. Now use your taste buds — correct the seasoning to your taste with a drop more lemon juice or another pinch of salt, and then serve big steaming bowls of green soup.
- Garnish with a thin drizzle of fruity olive oil.