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.
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.
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