… or you could call it “cream of vegetable soup”… or “I-had-A-LOT-of-fresh-vegetables-to-use-up soup”… whatever you call it, it turned out delicious.
This year I finally signed up for a CSA share (community supported agriculture – find one near you!) where I paid some cash up front and then I get a box of fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruits delivered in town to pick up each week through the end of October. Ever since reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food and Mark Bittman’s Food Matters, I’ve tried to buy more locally grown produce in season… and in general to eat less meat and more plants. So the CSA box comes full of an assortment of vegetables, many of which I would never buy on my own from the grocery store, and that I have never cooked with before either: bok choy, fresh beets, garlic scrapes, etc. So far, I am enjoying the challenge of figuring out how to use everything in the CSA box each week.
This week we had zucchini and fresh peas! Some of my favorites. I loved helping my son discover the joy of cracking open a pod and eating the sweet raw peas inside. But we also got fresh radishes and arugula. I’m not a huge fan of arugula in salads, plus one can only eat so much salad each week… so I figured out this alternative way to use the nutrient-packed arugula, the radish greens AND a bunch of leftover veggies.
This soup should work equally well with beet greens, spinach, and whatever other green vegetables you have on hand. I use Mark Bittman’s general ratios for cream of vegetable soups: 2 cups veggies to 3 cups chicken stock to 1 cup cream. Go ahead and play. It’s a very forgiving recipe.
- onion, chopped
- garlic, minced
- arugula leaves, washed well
- radish greens, washed well
- green onions, sliced
- potatoes, peeled and diced
- other veggies (I used some zucchini, spinach, peas, broccoli and cauliflower)
- chicken broth (check labels – I use Better Than Bouillon)
- cream or milk
Melt the butter in a large pot. Saute the onions and garlic. Add the leafy greens and wilt. Stir in the potatoes, other vegetables and chicken broth. Cover and simmer for about an hour. Let cool slightly and puree the soup in batches in a blender. Add cream and warm soup, but do not boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
We enjoyed this for dinner today with toasted Against the Grain baguette slices. My son said it was the yummiest soup ever and asked for seconds. I plan to make some version of this many times this summer with my CSA bounty and freeze the puree (without the cream) for enjoying this winter.
Arugula in soup! Who knew?