Spring Arugula & Lemon Soup

It’s been a long winter and we’re craving greens! With a sunshine hit of lemon, some peppery arugula, this quick soup will wake you out of hibernation!

I needed spring this week so I made this soup.

We want to be done with snow, and sleet, and mud, and with roasted root vegetables too, no matter how delicious. Every morning, we look to see if there are sprouts in the garden, knowing the first to arrive will be the chives. It’s good to see green things starting to grow again, and we’re counting the days until the local farm stands open!

Until the pansies arrive

In just a moment, we’ll have pansies to garnish soups and salads and our tables, but for now, we’ll transform what we do have into something just a little different.

arugula edamama

I started with arugula. Arugula is not just for salads. This peppery green is great as a pesto, made into a spread, and added to a soup. In this case, it’s the star.

This soup is a powerhouse of nutrients our bodies need at this time of year: Vitamins A & C, calcium, iron, potassium, folate, and 12 grams of protein (without the meat) and 8 grams of fiber. Not a bad pedigree for a little bowl of soup.

It also tastes really good. When I served this to my husband last week he took one bite and said “You’re going to put this on the blog, right?” I’m glad he likes green soup, now, we’ll have to work on the green drink…

Taste and texture

I’ve used frozen edamame, thawed. Edamame  are green soybeans that add nice texture to the soup. You can also find them cooked and prepared in the produce section of many markets. If you have trouble finding them, you can substitute frozen peas, which you will also thaw.

The potatoes add some body, and mellow out the peppery arugula. Use any potato you like, but to keep this pretty I’d shy away from the purple-fleshed varieties! If you are aiming for green, this time you don’t want to use the rainbow.

A little hint of nutmeg

I’ve added freshly grated nutmeg to this because it gives a lovely little back note, and my mom always put nutmeg in creamed soups, whether or not there was cream. Take care not to add too much or it will take over. However, this soup can take a fair amount of both salt and pepper, so add a little, taste, then adjust.

There is no dairy in this at all, yet it tastes deliciously creamy. As with any soup of this nature, you can thin it out with a bit more stock or water.

Add other enhancements, or devour as is

The featured picture, left, includes a little  topping of sautéed chicken, and you can also use tofu. Both are delicious, but I like it best straight up, below, without any additional protein.

Don’t be afraid to throw in other greens you may have on hand – some parsley, watercress, ramps when they come into season, and even lettuce if you have extra. Just add them at the very end with the arugula.

lemon arugula soup
Vegetarian version – no additional adornments beyond a stray arugula leaf or soy bean, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Spring Arugula & Lemon Soup

In a soup pot over medium/high, heat:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

Once shimmering, add:

  • I medium onion, diced

Sauté until the onion is soft and fragrant. Stir in:

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

Cook for another minute or two, stirring with a wooden spoon, and add:

  • 2 medium potatoes, diced
  • 1/8 tsp. finely grated nutmeg
  • 1 quart to six cups stock or water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce the heat, and cook until the potatoes are tender.    Stir in:

  • 10 ounces or so arugula (that is what was in my bag from the CSA!)
  • 2 cups thawed edamame


Continue to stir for a couple of minutes, until the arugula is wilted and the edamame heated through. This just takes moments.


  • Zest and juice of two lemons

Remove from the heat and process in a blender in a couple of batches until smooth. You can also use a hand immersion blender, or food processor.

To serve, garnish with a few reserved edamame and arugula, roughly chopped, and perhaps some of the first chives sprouts from the garden! Drizzle with a bit more olive oil.

© Copyright 2019 – or current year, Dorothy Grover-Read, The New Vintage Kitchen

Contact: dorothy@vintagekitchen.org




  1. Alicia says:

    I loved seeing this post this morning. Now, it is snowing where I am, so I might have to improvise and make something similar and try to get spring to come back.

    1. Well, Alicia, you must be in the northeast, because we had snow this morning! However, it turned to rain and took it all away. Fickle spring! Improvisation is the mark of a great cook!

  2. Wow does this sound great! I like the touch of nutmeg too!

    1. Nutmeg is a great spice. Too much and it bullies everything else, but just right and it enhances many dishes, especially anything creamed.

  3. As you crave for Spring/Summer, ‘down-under’ we have endured a long and very hot Summer and Autumn. Our Autumn started on the 1st March and today (24th March) the temperature was 28c (@83F) where I live and warmer further west in Sydney. I am looking forward to the cooler weather and casseroles, soups and bakes. I very much like the sound of this green soup.

    1. I know that wonderful feeling when fall settles in, and the lure of simmering pots of soup keeps us creating different ways to use the bounty that is upon us. It is also when I want to bake bread as well, nothing is better than the smell of the house when a loaf is just out of the oven. I do hope the temperatures drop a bit so you can begin this part of the year’s cooking odyssey!

  4. Ron says:

    I pop over to your New Vintage Kitchen from Kathryn’s blog and I’m sure glad I did. We love our soup over this way and are also ready for a change from root veggies, so this sounds wonderful. We always have rocket (arugula) about and edamame is a staple in the freezer. A must make for me. Thanks for sharing.

    1. You are welcome Ron! I hope you enjoy your little “rocket” trip to spring! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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