Lettuce Soup with Créme

Like the rest of the vegetables in this feature, lettuce has been underserved by our collective lack of imagination. In this recipe, I prefer to use a combination of romaine and Boston lettuce with a handful of arugula thrown in, but any lettuce will work. The single potato adds body, not flavor; be sure to season this soup well. Finally, when a dollop of créme fraiche is called for, feel free to use plain Greek yogurt if you prefer. Next time you find a wilted and seemingly useless head of lettuce in the crisper, don’t toss it, make soup!

By / Photography By India Seychew | September 13, 2017

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium-sized russet potato, very large dice (¾”)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, low sodium
  • 1 small head romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1 small head Boston lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup arugula, loosely packed
  • 1 ounce fresh basil leaves or flat leaf parsley
  • 4 tablespoons créme fraiche
  • ½ lemon
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Instructions

Over medium heat, melt butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepan. Add onion and cook until it begins to soften. Add whole garlic cloves and continue cooking until onion becomes completely translucent, taking care not to burn the garlic throughout the process. Add the potato, cooking gently for 10 minutes (and still taking care not to burn the garlic!). Add the stock and bring to a boil. Now reduce heat, cover, and simmer for another 10 minutes until the potato pieces are cooked through.

Add all three lettuces and the basil or parsley. This may take a moment, but the leaves will wilt quickly, so don’t worry if, when you begin, it seems like you have more lettuce than pan. Cook two or three minutes until all lettuce has softened.

Pull the soup from the heat and let stand for a few minutes. Using a hand blender or working in batches with a stand blender (please Google how to safely blend hot liquid in a stand blender if you’ve not done it before), blend the soup thoroughly. If you want to be extra fancy (and who doesn't?), run your soup through a fine mesh strainer or chinois. This isn’t hard, just a little time consuming, but the few minutes it requires renders a velvety result.

Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once you’re certain you’ve added enough salt and pepper (check twice!), ladle into pretty bowls and top with a dollop of créme and a quick squeeze of lemon.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium-sized russet potato, very large dice (¾”)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, low sodium
  • 1 small head romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1 small head Boston lettuce, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup arugula, loosely packed
  • 1 ounce fresh basil leaves or flat leaf parsley
  • 4 tablespoons créme fraiche
  • ½ lemon
  • salt and white pepper to taste
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