by Deborah Madison
from Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen
(Broadway Books, 2006)
Makes 6 cups
Most soups become gorgeous as their ingredients take on heat, but this one is on the homely side — the sorrel turns an army green, and lettuce goes blah in moments. The vibrancy of this soup lies in its bright flavors, which are robust and stimulating, and its looks improve once it’s puréed and garnished. Good chilled and hot.—Deborah Madison
2 tablespoons butter, plus extra butter for the croutons
1 large leek, white part only, chopped (scant 2 cups)
2 small potatoes, peeled, quartered, and thinly sliced (1 scant cup)
1 garlic clove, slivered
1 bunch spinach, stems removed and leaves washed and chopped, or 2 cups chard or beet greens
1 or 2 cups sorrel, slivered
4 cups chopped lettuce
2 tablespoons each chopped parsley, tarragon, and basil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
6 cups water, vegetable stock, or chicken stock
Fresh lemon juice to taste
1 cup small bread cubes
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup cream
1. Melt the butter in a wide soup pot over medium heat, then add the leek, potatoes, and garlic. Cook for several minutes, then add the greens and herbs and season with 1 teaspoon salt. Give them a stir, add the liquid, and bring to a boil. Simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
2. Purée the soup. Taste it for salt, season with pepper, then add a few drops of lemon juice to sharpen the flavors.
3. Crisp the bread cubes in the butter over medium-low heat until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Serve the soup with the cream stirred in just at the end, leaving nice fat streaks, and the croutons.
Recipe © 2005 by Deborah Madison. All rights reserved.