Monday, October 24, 2016

Jade Green Summer Soup

I made this soup yesterday, the first course for a dinner cooked collectively.  It was in the 70s here, and I figured it was likely the last time to enjoy a cold soup, and found the recipe for this one when cleaning out my recipe files earlier in the week.  Unusually for me, I didn't note the source; it's copied from a book, but I had no idea which one.  Google to the rescue!  It's from Robert Wolke, What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained. I think this was a book I checked out of the library one summer, when the summer reading challenge included a category for "science."  This recipe is in a chapter on microwaves, explaining their impact on food.  The recipe is written for the microwave, but gives alternative instructions for stove-top cooking, which is what I did.

Today for lunch, I heated the soup up; it is excellent either hot or cold.  Next time I make it, I may add a couple of potatoes to the mix, to make it more of a main dish soup.  Note that there's no milk in this soup, unlike many chilled summer vegetable soups.  It was nice to have a soup like this with just the broth base.

adapted from Robert Wolke, What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained
serves 6-8

5 cups chicken broth 
2 cups fresh green beans, chopped into about 1" pieces
2 cups chopped romain lettuce
2 cups zucchini, chopped into about 1/2" pieces
2 cups frozen peas
2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped scallions, both white and green parts 
1/4 cup chopped parsley (and more for garnish)
salt and freshly ground pepper
chopped fresh herbs for garnish (I used parsley and chives)

Into a soup pot, put the chicken broth and all the vegetables: green beans, romaine, zucchini, peas, celery, scallions, and parsley.  Bring to a boil, then simmer, partially covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Add salt and pepper as desired.  Blend to the point of a textured purée (that is, not entirely smooth); I use a stick blender.  Chill thoroughly before serving.

Garnish each serving with chopped fresh herbs.  I used both parsley and chives.  Next time, I think I'd use just chives--would be prettier, and there is already parsley in the soup.  Mint might be nice, too.

The recipe suggested an optional addition at serving time of a drizzle of olive oil or a dollop of sour cream, but I liked it very much without either of these.  Why not keep it simple and low-cal?