When March rolls around, my family starts to crave more greens as an enlivening contrast to all the heavy foods of winter. And when one of us has a cold or the flu, this soothing little recipe is a wonderful remedy, with plenty of garlic and healthful greens like parsley and watercress to make us feel better fast.
The soup is such a lovely color, too: it is a real taste of spring just when we need it most.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh spinach, very coarsely chopped
1 head romaine lettuce, torn into large pieces
1 head Boston lettuce, torn into large pieces
1 generous handful fresh parsley leaves
1 handful fresh watercress
6 cups water or vegetable broth
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup cream, milk, or soy milk (more if needed)
1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the shallots, garlic, and greens. Once the greens begin to wilt, cover the pot and braise them, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
2. Add stock or water and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Scoop out the solids and process in a food processor or blender with a bit of broth until nearly smooth.
3. Return greens to soup pot and add cream or milk. Stir thoroughly to combine, adding more cream to thin if necessary, and allow soup to heat through, then serve.
By Cait Johnson, author of Witch in the Kitchen (Inner Traditions, 2001).