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April 12, 2010

Quick and easy field of greens soup

Field of greens soup

When life hands you a refrigerator full of odds and ends of green leafy things, make this "field of greens" soup. It's light and elegant, in the way that many pureed soups are, and would be the perfect starter to a dinner-for-the-boss type of meal. The fact that it's super-healthy is a bonus; with just a few ingredients and no cream, the taste is rich and creamy. I happened to have romaine lettuce, spinach and some baby bok choy that was a few days away from the compost pile. If you're starting from scratch and buying your greens (or harvesting from your garden), try using a mix of tender, sweet lettuces.

Quick and easy field of greens soup

Serves 8 as an appetizer.


2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
8 cups roughly chopped greens, a mix of romaine lettuce, spinach, bok choy or whatever you have
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp dried tarragon or 1 tsp fresh tarragon leaves
5 cups homemade chicken stock or low-sodium store-bought
A pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
Fresh black pepper, to taste


In a Dutch oven or heavy 4-quart stockpot, heat the butter and olive oil. Stir in the onion, and cook for 1 minute. Add the chopped greens, stir, and cook over low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until the greens are wilted and the onion is translucent but not browned, 4-5 minutes. Add salt and tarragon. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add the chicken stock. Reduce heat to simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 25 minutes.

Puree the soup in a blender, in batches if necessary, until smooth. Return soup to the pot, season with red pepper flakes and plenty of black pepper, and add salt if needed. Serve hot.

Print recipe only.


Posted by: Marcia | April 12, 2010 at 05:38 AM

This definitely will be my go-to recipe for that moment in late spring when the lettuce bed is overflowing with gangly plants.

Love the addition of tarragon.

Posted by: Heidi | April 12, 2010 at 09:16 AM

What a coincidence! I just made some soup with a couple heads of Romaine in it and some roasted red peppers. I love rescuing lettuce from the fridge by cooking with it. I posted the soup recipe over at my blog yesterday.

Posted by: Alta | April 12, 2010 at 01:29 PM

I wonder if chicory would work here. Sounds healthy and yummy!

Posted by: Lydia | April 13, 2010 at 07:58 PM

Marcia, you're so lucky to have a lettuce garden! I think the tarragon gives this soup its grace.

Heidi, love the idea of adding roasted red peppers to this. I'll try that next time.

Alta, don't know -- chicory (to me) tastes pretty strong, and might overpower the soup. But you can always balance it with some sweet leaf lettuce. Let me know if you try it.

Posted by: Kalynskitchen | April 14, 2010 at 09:57 AM

Never made a soup like this with pureed greens, but it sounds delicious!

Posted by: Milton | April 17, 2010 at 05:14 AM

My company and I enjoyed this a lot. Many thanks for the recipe. I cut the lettuce really small because I dont have a blender....nobody at the table was any wiser haha

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  • I'm Lydia Walshin, a longtime food writer who lives and cooks in a real log house. If I could, I'd eat Chinese noodles, grapes, ice cream and soup every day.
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