Recipe Type: Soup
This recipe has been adapted from Gourmet Magazine (April, 1999) and is a perfect way to use some of the bounty of spring in a quick, healthful and tasty soup. I noticed last week that the lettuce at the market was really beautiful, and abundant. Pureed soups of this sort – profoundly seasonal – are part of the backbone of the French cook’s repertoire, whether home (cuisine bonne femme) or professional (haute cuisine). This recipe is a very basic and easy one, and produces a delicious and healthy soup. You can play with it as well – add arugula for a bit of spice, some onion, chives, mint or other fresh herbs for additional flavor, and even finish with cream or cream fraiche (be sure to add at the very end just as the soup is almost finished reheating to avoid curdling). You might want to first sloooowly sauté until caramelized the bulbs of some of the beautiful green onions we have at the market, and then add the broth and lettuce, to create a deeper flavor. Another classic preparation would be to top each soup bowl with a dollop or slice of soft goat cheese from Shellbark Hollow. Yum! Just have fun experimenting – it’s the perfect soup for the season!
- 2 medium heads Boston lettuce (about 3/4 pound total)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- freshly grated nutmeg to taste
- Stack lettuce leaves and cut into thin shreds.
- In a 3-quart saucepan gently simmer lettuce, broth, and water, covered, 10 minutes.
- In a blender (or use an immersion blender) purée soup in 2 batches with butter, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), transferring as blended to another saucepan.
- Reheat soup over moderately high heat until hot.
- This recipe produces 5 or 6 servings.