You might not believe that lettuce, having such mild flavor, would be a tasty enough vegetable to make soup, but it is! Of course we generally think of lettuce as a salad ingredient, not something to cook. Several years ago over a memorable evening of fine food, wine, and fabulous conversation, my good friend Peter Wells introduced me to Lettuce Soup. I cannot believe it has taken me this long to make it, but am glad I did! Very few ingredients make this soup easy to put together. The parsley helps to keep it green and gives it a little punch. Because of COVID-19 I have not seen Pete or his beautiful wife, Leslie in months, but later in this blog I will give you an update on what he’s been up to.
|I found this recipe online, developed by NYC
Chef Daniel Gritzer.
I was not familiar with him, but he has a
very interesting background. Check him out:
As is often the case, I made a couple little tweaks to the recipe.
2 Tbsp. butter, He calls for unsalted. I used salted
1 medium onion, diced. I rough chopped about 1 cup of onion.
4 medium garlic cloves, about 2 Tbsp. sliced
2 cups homemade chicken stock*
Lettuce** Chef Gritzer calls for 8 ounces (225 g). I used 4 cups of chopped Romaine Lettuce
1/4 cup (One small handful) loosely packed parsley
A couple drops of fresh lemon juice to brighten the soup.
In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat until foamy. Add onion, garlic and a pinch of Kosher Salt (my addition), stirring until softened; about 3 minutes. Add chicken stock. Bring back to simmer, and cook until veg are very tender; about 10 minutes. Add lettuce and parsley and cook until wilted and softened; a couple more minutes. I turned off heat and let it sit, covered, until cook enough to blend.
Working in batches, thoroughly blend the soup until it is very smooth. If it is too thick (mine was perfect), add more chicken stock. Season with salt, pepper (I used white pepper.) and just a touch of lemon juice. The idea here is to jazz the flavor, not turn the soup tart. Garnish as you like. Gritzer garnished with radish and pea shoots, which sounds wonderful. I think finely diced shrimp sauted in garlic would also be nice, but the possibilities are endless. I garnished with crispy chopped bacon over a dollop of Greek style yogurt. If I had some cherry tomatoes I would have added them for a deconstructed BLT!
*In these times of “staying at home” it seems I am making chicken stock every week so putting a soup like this together literally takes just a few minutes! Store bought stock would also work.
**A note from Chef Gritzer regarding choice of Lettuce. He says the recipe works with many varieties of lettuce, including romaine, Bibb, oak leaf, arugula, and cress. He does not recommend iceberg because of its extreme lack of flavor. You can substitute shallots or leeks for the onions.
I love cooking with herbs and never in my life have been without an herb garden. Here is my small, but robust field of parsley!
Here’s another soup I made recently that was perfect on a hot summers day.
CLASSIC COLD TOMATO SOUP
I made this Classic Tomato Soup, and served it hot, a few years ago for my husband’s birthday lunch. Go to: http://cookwithcindy.blogspot.com/search?q=tomato+soup
It was quite a day of feasting so you will find the other indulgences we ate on his special day!
THAT’S ALL THE FOOD FOR TODAY,
BUT I WANT TO SHARE A BIT MORE
ABOUT MY FRIEND PETE WELLS.
After 30 years in education, as both teacher and administrator, Pete has retired. …But not for long! Being idle is not in Pete’s nature. He recently took on the job of Executive Director at this fabulous and important organization in Tucson.
THERAPEUTIC RIDING OF TUCSON
TROT is a nonprofit that uses Equine therapies for those with special needs and physical disabilities. It has been around since 1974. Check out their website:
THANKS FOR TUNING IN AGAIN…
MORE FOOD TO COME!!
Tuesday, July 28th is my birthday! Impossible to celebrate without
my dear sister top of mind. Here is a photo of me and my twin sister,
Cathy, who passed away September 7, 2007.
We loved planning meals, parties, creating recipes and menus
and that is what we are doing here.
She is on the left and I am on the right.
Photo Circa 2004!! We sure did a lot of cooking together!