Winter Greens Soup

It’s interesting how much we think about food with our eyes - the color, shape and texture all contribute to our expectations. And it can throw us off if we’re seeing one thing while simultaneously thinking of another thing. This soup is a perfect example. It looks very much like our daily green smoothie. So as we sat down for dinner last night, Jeff commented on how much it looks like the smoothie, I told him not to think about it because then the soup won’t taste right if you’re thinking smoothie taste. We both liked it a lot, but we had to get over the fact that it looked like the smoothie and had the same texture as well, those are cold and sweet, and this was hot and savory, very different experiences on the palate. As we worked our way through the bowls all thoughts of breakfast smoothie were soon gone. It’s a delicious healthy bowl of vegetable goodness. 

The recipe is from Field of Greens cookbook and this was my first try at a vegetable stock, which was fun, I like recipes that are like 1 potato, 1 onion, 2 carrots, simple. And it came out great, I will make this again. I had a bad run in with a boxed vegetable broth once before, it was just horrible so I’ve shied away from it for a long time. But this stuff is fantastic and very easy to make.

I changed the crouton recipe a bit, the original was for garlic croutons, with thinly sliced baguette covered in an olive oil and garlic mixture, and the parmesan to be added on top of the soup at the end, but I can’t resist baking cheese on bread so I opted to mix the cheese in with the bread and have chunkier crouton cubes. I really like the way they tasted.

My photos of kale just didn't make the cut, I'll give it another try on my next kale recipe.

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Winter Greens Soup

(adapted from Field of Greens)

  • 4 cups vegetable stock (recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup chard stems, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium-sized potato, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves washed, about 8 cups packed
  • 1 bunch of green chard, stems removed and leaves washed, about 8 cups packed
  • 1 bunch of spinach, stems removed and leaves washed, about 8 cups packed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Garlic Parmesan Croutons (recipe below)


Make the stock and keep it warm over low heat.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot and add the onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and several pinches of pepper. Sauté over medium heat until the onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Then add the garlic, chard stems, potatoes and carrot. Sauté until the vegetables are heated through, about 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup stock, cover the pot and cook for about 10 minutes. When the vegetables are tender, add the white wine and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, until the pan is nearly dry. Stir in the kale, chard, 1 teaspoon salt, a few pinches of pepper and 3 cups stock. cover the pot and cook the soup for 10-15 minutes, until the chard and kale are tender. Add the spinach and cook for 3-5 minutes, until just wilted.

Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Thin with a little more stock if it seems too thick. Season with lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish each serving with Garlic Parmesan Croutons. 

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Vegetable Stock

  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 leek top, washed and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, chopped
  • 1 large potato, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 pound white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 6 parsley sprigs, coarsely chopped
  • 6 fresh sprigs of thyme
  • 2 fresh marjoram or oregano sprigs
  • 3 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 9 cups cold water

Pour just enough water into a stockpot to start the onion cooking (about 1 inch or so). Add the onion, leek top, garlic and salt. Stir the vegetables, then cover the pot and cook them gently over medium heat for 15 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cover with 9 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered for 1 hour. Pour the stock through a strainer, pressing as much liquid from the vegetables, then discard them. 


Garlic Parmesan Croutons

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 french baguette, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 375°. Combine the olive oil, cheese and garlic in bowl. Cut the baguette into 1/2” cubes, lightly toss in olive oil mixture. Spread evenly in one layer on the baking sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes, until the croutons are crisp and lightly browned. 

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