This lettuce soup is a great recipe to make if your garden lettuces have grown a little too large and begun to bolt. It’s delicious sprinkled with crisp croutons.–Sara Lewis

LC Herb Of Choice Note

Are you the rebellious sort? Yeah, we figured as much. Go on and ignore, if you choose, the last ingredient line in the recipe below—the one that stipulates which herbs to use—and instead opt for your herbs of choice in this quick summer ditty. Mint would work. Chervil, too. Dill, in a pinch. Even some finely chopped fennel fronds, if that’s your thing. Uh, no Purple Haze, please.

A saucepan filled with lettuce soup on a wooden table, with a dish cloth and a pile of toasted croutons beside it.

Lettuce Soup

5 / 2 votes
When you're faced with a glut of leafy lettuce in the summer months, turn to this flavorful and rather elegant soup. Topped with crispy croutons, it's green perfection in a bowl.
David Leite
Servings4 servings
Calories264 kcal
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 medium baking potato, such as a russet, peeled and cut into 1/2- to 1-inch chunks
  • 4 cups homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth, vegetable broth, or ham stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 head leafy lettuce, such as Bibb or Boston or butter lettuce, torn into pieces (about 5 loosely packed cups)
  • 2 ounces fresh parsley, chives, and/or basil, roughly chopped


  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook gently until softened but not browned, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the potato, then cover and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring from time to time so that the potato doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. The potato won’t be tender quite yet. Remove the lid, add the stock, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, re-cover, and gently simmer until the potato is tender, 10 to 15 minutes more.
  • Add the lettuce and herbs to the pan and cook just until the lettuce has wilted. Turn off the heat and let the soup cool slightly. Purée the soup with an immersion blender or in a standing blender (working in batches if necessary) until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. You can sip the soup either hot or cold, so either return the soup to the pan and gently rewarm over low heat or cover and refrigerate until chilled through. (To freeze the lettuce soup, let it cool completely and freeze it in individual resealable plastic bags for up to 2 months. Reheat the soup in a covered saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until warmed through, 15 to 20 minutes. Alternatively, nuke the soup in a covered bowl in the microwave on full power, stirring several times, until warmed through, 7 to 8 minutes.)
Freeze & Easy Cookbook

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 264 kcalCarbohydrates: 26 gProtein: 9 gFat: 15 gSaturated Fat: 8 gMonounsaturated Fat: 4 gTrans Fat: 0.5 gCholesterol: 37 mgSodium: 380 mgFiber: 3 gSugar: 8 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2013 Sara Lewis. Photo © 2013 Karen Thomas. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This lettuce soup recipe is light, fresh, and utterly delightful! I used tender leaf lettuce from my garden (approximately 5 cups leaves) and Yukon Gold potatoes (peeled and cut into small dice, as I figured they’d cook a little faster that way). After blending everything with an immersion blender, the soup was ready to serve with a dollop of crème fraîche and a sprinkling of fresh chives. This soup is also very nice cold, which is how the leftovers were served the next day for lunch. I’ll certainly be making batches of this to put in the freezer when I have that annual overabundance of lettuce showing up at my door. I think I might try changing out the herbs depending on what’s available in the garden that week—tarragon, basil, and a little cilantro, maybe?

This lettuce soup tasted absolutely divine and looked pretty, too. I packed a canvas lettuce bag full of fresh leaves from my garden, and while it may have been more than the amount recommended in this recipe, I liked the end result. I used a russet potato and chopped it into 1/2-inch chunks. The cooking times recommended in the recipe worked perfectly and my Vitamix puréed everything perfectly. The soup comes out gorgeous in color. The end result is a smooth, buttery, herby soup, which was awesome. I can see enjoying this both in the winter and summer, as the soup isn’t too heavy or light. I highly recommend using fresh lettuce. Yum!

I really enjoyed making—and tasting!—this summer lettuce soup recipe. I don’t normally eat soup too much during the summer due to the heat outside, but the delicate ingredients and smooth texture of this soup paired nicely with the season’s heat. I used 1 head butter lettuce, 1 ounce Italian parsley, and 1 ounce basil. I also think a bit of mint or even watercress might add a nice taste as well. That’s one of the great things here—you can use whatever leafy herbs you happen to have in the fridge or in the garden. The other thing I like about this lettuce soup is the use of potato as a natural starch, which produces just the right texture when paired with the cooked onion and homemade chicken stock. It was also very helpful for the recipe to include freezing and reheating instructions, though I won’t be needing the freezing instructions as I have a feeling our leftovers won’t last very long! I can’t wait to make this healthful soup again with different batches of herbs to mix things up.

Delicious and easy! This lettuce soup recipe reminds me of those classic Italian peasant dishes that utilize garden bounty, making use of any surplus in a creative and effortless way. This lettuce soup was sweet and velvety. My market can sometimes be devoid of specialty lettuces, as was the case on this visit, so I went with a clamshell pack of mixed baby romaines, green leaf, and other sweet varieties of lettuce. I cut the potato into 1-inch chunks and used a high-quality, store-bought, organic vegetable stock. I served the lettuce soup just barely warm, and I found that by allowing the soup to hold on the stove without heat for a little while, it not only simplified getting dinner on the table but gently developed and melded the soup’s delicate flavors. Love!

This is a bright green lettuce soup with a creamy mouthfeel. I wasn’t expecting such a great balance of flavors from such humble ingredients. The texture was a little grainy–let’s call it homey—but that didn’t detract from the fresh herbal taste of the lettuce soup. I used parsley and basil, which balanced the soup with slightly bitter, peppery, sweet notes. The potato added texture and creaminess. This is a great soup to serve hot, room temperature, or cold. I might add some crumbled bacon or slivered radish for a change of toppings. This would be great to serve at a party in demitasse cups.

I found this lettuce soup to be an easy summer dish with a beautiful color. I used a head of butter lettuce and an abundant supply of fresh herbs from the garden. Cutting the potato in 1-inch cubes helped the potato maintain its structure nicely during cooking and gave the soup a good texture once puréed. I ended up using almost 2 ounces of each herb listed. I used the immersion blender to purée the soup with no problem. The soup had a strong flavor, but nothing my 2-year-old didn’t like. I’d probably use the same amount of herbs again next time, but I’d cut back on the parsley a bit and add more basil in its place. I served the soup with sour cream on the side, which some people chose to add. I thought it was fine without it. I served this soup with grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and fresh melon, and it was a hit!

I was looking for an alternative to winter squash soup for the warmer weather and this lettuce soup recipe fit the bill. Most of the flavor comes from the choice of herbs and cooking liquid, not so much from the lettuce. That said, I would definitely look for a firm, dark green head of lettuce to make a pretty soup. I finished it with a few drops red chili oil to provide a nice contrast in both color and flavor. If I make this again, I think I’ll first grill the lettuce with a little olive oil and sea salt to get that smoky flavor.

This lettuce soup reminded me of a soup that my great-grandmother used to make. The only difference is that you can really taste the herbs in this recipe. This lettuce soup was very good both cold and hot. It was fairly simple to make. I cut the potato in approximately 1-inch cubes, and I used Bibb lettuce and vegetable stock.

The dominant flavor in this pretty, pale green lettuce soup will be determined by the strongest herb used. In this case, it was basil. I used about 1 1/2 ounces basil and 1/2 ounce Italian parsley. The chives I had planned on adding had aged too much by the time I got to making the recipe, but that would have given the soup an extra boost in onion flavor. I also think tarragon would be good in this soup in place of the basil. What a creative way to use summer garden produce. I used an immersion blender and the soup retained some dark green specks. (A high-powered blender would have produced a completely smooth and consistent puree, but I liked the appearance of the flecks and how their darker green color contrasted with the rest.) I used Boston lettuce in this and my potato cubes were about 3/4-inch. I used a 3-quart saucepan, which was large enough for the soup ingredients but smallish in heat surface for cooking the onions. I would use a larger pan next time.

Hot soup in the summer? Why not? This lettuce soup is totally worth it. It doesn’t take long to cook, and you don’t have to hang out in front of the stove for too long. Softening the onions in all that butter and then cooking them with the potatoes made a hearty base for the soup. 2 ounces of herbs is a lot—I stripped my parsley and basil plants and only got just over an ounce, but the soup was still wonderful. I also used a decent-sized head of Boston lettuce. You can make this soup with olive oil and vegetable stock for a fabulous vegan option – I’m sure no one would be able to tell the difference.

We love this lettuce soup. We used butter lettuce, parsley, chives, basil, and chicken stock, and we followed the recipe exactly. This soup is fresh, subtle, delicious, and very pretty once blended up. My daughter Lena could not help but drizzle hers with a good olive oil and sprinkle with mint. We ate this with hot rolls for a light summer supper. Lena says, “Beautiful presentation and recommended for even a fancy meal.”

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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