If the though of a big leafy green salad in the middle of winter leaves you cold, consider this warming soup, that packs all the benefits of a salad with none of the chill.
Its almost magical, how piles of greens can be reduced to two cups of thick and delicious creamed soup.
Here's a general plan on how to proceed.
What you'll need:
1. Leafy Greens: This can be a mix of dandelion, cilantro, parsley, kale, Swiss chard, water cress, spinach... the possibilities are only limited to your taste buds and what's in the fridge. I would avoid arugula, broccoli and cabbage, unless you like those pungent tastes. Choose organic whenever possible.
2. Optional Add-ins: A half cup of beans, or mushrooms, carrots, sweet potatoes, celery, beets. Be warned that anything orange or red, will make the color of this soup a nasty looking brown. It won't change the taste, but many of us eat with our eyes as much as we do our mouths.
3. Broth and meat: I stew organic chicken legs, so I always have a pot of gelatinous broth and chicken in my winter fridge. You'll need about a cup of this, a mix of meat and broth. Or simply some broth or stock you get from the store. Here's a shot of my pot of organic free range chicken-y goodness:
4. Olive oil
5. Nutritional Yeast. I use Kal brand flakes
A big pot to soak your greens in, a cast iron fry pan(I use this for the iron it adds to food) or other large pan to cook them in, something to stir the greens with, a blender.
1. TEAR up your greens into 3-4 inch chunks. Discard any brown or yellow leaves. Wilted but green leaves are okay. They will perk up in the water.
2. SOAK for about 15+ minutes in water to which a pinch of powdered vitamin C has been added. The C gets rid of the chlorine and chloramines in your tap water. It also enhances the nutrition of your greens.
3. DRAIN and rinse a couple of times until the rinse water is clear.
4. HEAT up your fry pan, add olive oil when pan is hot, then the greens. Just pile them in there.
5. STIR until wilted. NOtice how much the volume in the pan has decreased! Its the incredible shrinking greens!
6. ADD your "optionals". You can see I've added some beans to mine.
7. ADD your broth and meat.
8. HEAT everything up. Then...
9. TRANSFER everything to the blender.
10. BLEND using the high or pulse function until the largest sized bit of green is the size of an o.
11. POUR into a soup bowl and
12. ADD one of two tablespoons of nutritional yeast... stir and you're ready to eat!
About Nutritional Yeast...
I add it because of the umami flavor it brings to the soup... its also a great source of B vitamins, chromium and selenium. If you do use it, add it at the very end, table side. Reason being that cooking, reheating, or being kept a hot temps for a prolonged period of time destroys B vitamins.
So in order to get the benefits as well as the taste, mix in table side.
What's in the pan? Swiss chard, Kale, Parsley, Cilantro and Dandelion greens.