Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Anna Thomas' Green Soup

It all started a few weeks ago. It was a Saturday afternoon, I was washing dishes and listening to The Splendid Table on NPR. Lynne Rosetto Kasper was talking with Anna Thomas, author of a classic cookbook from the 70's, The Vegetarian Epicure. Lynne and Anna were talking soup. Anna talked about how one day she had some leftover greens in her fridge. Along with an onion, a little rice, and a few spices she decided to make a green soup... gently cooked and then pureed and finished with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

To be honest, at first I was sort of turned off.... okay, pureed greens... in a soup. Yeah.

But then I was intrigued. I love greens and I certainly don't eat enough of them. The soup was easy to make, vegetarian... but what really inspired me? That drizzle of olive oil. 

Lynne talked about how olive oil has a distinctly different flavor when used as a garnish, than it does when used for general cooking. I love the flavor of olive oil when cooking and I also love it in salad dressings... but I never thought about the differences in flavor.

So I decided to make the soup.

Wow. Such a simple concept: hearty spinach and chard, gently simmered with onions, vegetable broth, a little rice, a pinch of cayenne, and a splash of lemon juice. It was absolutely delicious. I've underestimated greens and soup. Normally when we make soup in our house, much of it often gets thrown away. There's just too much. This soup? I couldn't get enough. I ate the entire batch in about 4 settings.

And then I made another batch. And another. And atop each bowl of warm, creamy green soup? That drizzle of olive oil. The olive oil make this soup. It's warm, rich olive flavor slowly mixed into the creamy soup... it gave me a whole new meaning of the word soup.

I decided to share this recipe today in celebration of a new blog & website entitled, "The Balanced Platter." It's a website that was started by Amy Green of Simply Sugar and Gluten Free and Maggie Savage of She Let Them Eat Cake. The website will regularly share healthy recipes and tips from a variety of gluten free bloggers. I hope you'll visit the site and see what you think!

And meanwhile... try green soup. It's an easy and delicious way to get more vitamin rich, leafy greens into your diet without a lot of effort. For another variation of this soup, try Heidi's non-pureed version on 101 Cookbooks.

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  1. So simple and so easy and a great way to use up odds and ends in the veggie drawer. Thanks for adding this one to my list of ways to be more frugal and less wasteful and get more veggies into my diet.

  2. Mmmm, I love olive oil. And greens, of course. I also love the differences in different olive oils.

    MY sister, who travels as much as I wish I could, brought me a beautiful little bottle from a monestery in Spain. It had been blessed by the monks and was amazingly good. I used it carefully and concsiously to the last drop. The next time she was cruising through that part of Europe, she didn't make the trek to the monestery but some of her fellow travelers did. So lucky me! She brought me another bottle, procured by her shipmates. It sits still on my kitchen counter as I use it drop by drop as a garnish on only the most special dishes.

  3. I love this recipe, Carrie! It's perfect for Balanced, Healthy, and Gluten-Free! Thanks so much for your support and for sharing a delicious, warming bowl of soup.


  4. that looks delicious! I have kale calling me...maybe it wants to be soup!

  5. this does not look delicious LOL!! but i am sure it tastes great <3

  6. Wendy -- thank you so much! IT really is a delicious soup, especially for leftovers!

    Pamela -- WOW! That is so cool! I would LOVE to try some spanish olive oil from a monastery! I'll have to see if I have any friends in Spain! lol

    Amy -- Thank you so much and thank you for hosting a wonderful event!

    Cheryl -- I've done this soup with kale and it's excellent!! (((hugs!)))

    Anonymous -- lol!! I would have to agree with you, it's not the most appetizing soup I've ever seen, but the flavor will blow you away! really, really delicious and rich!

  7. I heard that podcast episode and made the soup as well! I was a little unsure about it when I scooped it into my soup bowl but the first bite convinced me that the recipe was a keeper. I used a little extra lemon and really liked it that way. I'm glad to see that I was not the only one lured by Anna Thomas' soup! :)

  8. Okay, I'm going to be one the vegans who pretends that everything green looks sooo delicious and amazing just because I've severely limited my diet and lifestyle to green stuff, lol. However, I know that we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, and maybe this soup has a life of its own that is somehow charming and pleasant. I also saw a soup last week on a health blog that was made primarily from pureed potatoes and broccoli. It was topped with an avocado, the only thing that saved it visually for me, and looked hideous. However, it is supposed to be good to soothe and inflamed digestive track (obviously a problem for a lot of Celiacs...or if you're like me and experience hormone issues from your lovely thyroid disease...), so I bookmarked it to try out. I'll do the same with this, trying not to judge prematurely. Thanks for posting!

  9. Anyone know approximate fiber content of this soup?