Traditional wisdom says soup is served hot; salad is served cold. But some traditions were made to be broken; can you say gazpacho?
I think the way we use lettuce in our culinary creations is colored by our earliest experiences with a particular food. I grew up enjoying delicious salads made with ingredients fresh from my family’s garden. It would never have occurred to anyone in my family to put lettuce into soup. Even when we were growing lettuce indoors and it was right there on the counter, no one ever said, “Hey, let’s make lettuce soup.”
Fast forward a bit to the age of the healthy smoothie. If we can put a wide variety of garden greens into a hopped-up blender to make a vitamin-packed drink with the consistency of a shake but the flavor of spinach, why can’t we make soup with lettuce? Of course, we can.
Truth be told, lettuce in soup is nothing new; it just feels that way. There are plenty of international recipes for soup that includes lettuce as an ingredient, and more soup recipes with lettuce as the featured focus.
This is another cooking opportunity to let your imagination take you to the flavors you favor. You can create your own variations of this Light & Lovely Lettuce Soup by changing up the seasonings, adding cream, broth, bacon—even other greens. The beauty of this soup is its simplicity. It’s simple and satisfying, and a great way to transform leftovers into something new and delicious. Serve it hot or cold. It could become a new tradition for you. Let’s hear it for the versatility of lettuce!Print
Light & Lovely Lettuce Soup
Soup may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of lettuce. But if you have a lot of outer lettuce leaves that are perfectly fine for eating, just not the prettiest—turn them into soup! The same goes for those lettuce ribs you may have decided don’t belong in the salad. You have plenty of leeway here in the kinds of lettuce and potato you use. With all the variations possible, it’ll be a different soup every time! Serve this soup warm or cold.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Soups
- 1 cup chopped onions (your choice)
- 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Dash of pepper (to taste)
- 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
- 8 cups coarsely chopped lettuce leaves
- 3 cups water
- Fresh dill, cilantro, or parsley for garnish
- In a large heavy pot, cook the onions and garlic in 2 tablespoons of butter over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onions and garlic are softened.
- Add the coriander, salt, and pepper and stir for about a minute.
- Add lettuce, potato, and water.
- Bring mixture to a boil
- Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes. Potato should be very tender.
- Puree the soup in the pot using an immersion blender if you have one, or process the soup in batches in a blender or food processor.
- With all the pureed soup in one pot, bring the soup to a simmer and stir in the last tablespoon of butter.
- Season with salt and pepper, as desired.
- Garnish each bowl with a fresh spring of parsley, cilantro, or dill.
Have you tried this recipe? It’s a light, refreshing and satisfying soup—please tell us how it turned out for you.