Cooking With Metachat!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Greens and Garlic Soup

(from The New Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas)

With a good bread and maybe some hummous, it's a meal. For best results, use 2-3 kinds of greens, mixing stronger flavors with milder ones.

1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 T fruity olive oil
1 bunch (12 oz) each:
young kale & chard or escarole, spinach, rapini, Napa cabbage, etc
1 ½ lbs potatoes, diced
2 cups water
salt and pepper
8 cups vegetable broth (she offers low salt chicken broth as an alt, but I thinks it's much better with veggie broth, Trader Joe's has a great one if you don’t make them from scratch.)
¾ cup white wine
3 T rice vinegar

garnishes: additional olive oil
hot red chile pepper flakes
feta cheese, crumbled

Sauté the garlic and onion in the olive oil in a large non-stick pan until they begin to color. Wash the greens, trimming away any tough stems and ribs, and shred the leaves with a sharp knife. If you’re using one of the sturdier greens, add it to the pan when the garlic starts to turn golden, and sauté them together for a few minutes, stirring often.

Meanwhile, combine the diced potatoes, water, salt and pepper to taste, and vegetable broth in a soup pot and bring to a boil. When the potatoes are tender, add the garlic and onion mixture, all the shredded greens, the white wine, and the rice vinegar. Simmer everything together for about 30 minutes, then taste and correct the seasoning, if needed.

Put on the table a carafe of good green olive oil, some dried chile flake flakes, and a bowl of crumbled feta cheese, then serve steaming bowls of soup. The best way is with a little of everything: a tiny drizzle of oil, a sprinkle of chile, and a spoonful of feta in the middle. ______________________________________________________________
A few notes : In the recipe, she suggests blending milder and stronger greens, but I avoid the mild greens and go straight for flavor and texture, using kale, chard, collard and mustard greens, sometimes garnishing it with watercress if it's handy/cheap. I also leave out the potatoes, but only because I usually make a huge batch and freeze it and potatoes don't do well after being frozen. Finally, I also substitute fresh lemon juice to brighten up the flavor when I don’t feel like having it spicy.


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