Every once in a while a person may end up with too much lettuce. Maybe you planted a couple too many rows in the garden, or your CSA packed too much into your box for the week. Or maybe you asked your husband to run to the store to pick up a head to use for garnish for your catering gig and he came back with three.
Maybe you’ve tried to use it up by making salads (perhaps a delicious chefs salad to use up the leftover crudite and cold cuts from your catering gig) but now it’s just too wilty for more salads. What are you to do?
You may think the only option is the compost bin (that might have been my answer too) but after chucking one too many heads of wilty lettuce I decided to give soup a try.
Here’s the line up:
To start, melt the butter in a stock pot. I used a 3-quart pan but I really should have gone a little bigger (you’ll see why later).
Add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt and sweat the onion (saute over medium heat so that it does not brown) until it is cooked through and translucent.
Add the lettuce and the broth.
Simmer until the lettuce is soft, about 10 minutes. You’ll need to stir it a few times because the broth will not cover the lettuce at first (and this is why I needed a bigger pan).
Toss in the tarragon and cook for another minute or so.
Remove the pan from the heat and blend it in batches. Seriously, do it in batches. If you fill the blender to full, hot, bright green soup will erupt from the blender all over you and your kitchen.
Leave some of the broth in the pan, if you add it all at first the soup may be too thin at the end.
Pour the soup through a mesh strainer to get rid of the larger solids.
You’ll need to use a spoon to force it through a little.
If the soup is very thick, add some of the reserved broth. Then let the soup cool to room temperature.
Add some cream to taste (I used about 1/4 cup) and pop it in the fridge to cool completely. Once it’s chilled, taste the soup for seasoning (if you season while the soup is warm it will probably be off once the soup is chilled). Ladle the soup into serving dishes and top with a few croutons.
I’ll admit, when this soup was warm, I did not care for it. However, once it cooled it really started to grow on me. Light and sunny, like summer in a bowl. And the color, well it was just the most vivid beautiful green. A great start to a meal or a lovely little side dish. Next time you’ve got wilty greens on your hands, this is a wonderful way to use them up.
L E T T U C E S O U P
While this is a great way to use up green leafy or romaine lettuces, overly bitter greens will probably not be as tasty here.
2 Tablespoon butter
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 head lettuce, chopped
2 cup vegetable stock
2 Tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
1/4 – 1/2 cup cream
Melt butter in a stock pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and a pinch of salt and sweat the onion until it is cooked through and translucent. Add the lettuce and the broth and simmer until the lettuce is soft, about 10 minutes, stirring 3-4 times. Add the tarragon and cook for another minute.Remove the pan from the heat and blend the lettuce in batches, leaving some of the stock in the pan. Force the soup through a mesh strainer to get rid of the larger solids. Add reserved broth to thin the soup if necessary. Let the soup cool to room temperature Add cream to taste and refriderate to cool completely. Once chilled taste for seasoning. Ladle the soup into serving dishes and top with a few croutons.