This is a very classically French recipe, and while the idea of lettuce in a soup sounds strange, it’s actually very tasty. If you think of the lettuce like any slightly sturdier green, like spinach or swiss chard, as you’re sauteeing it, it will make more sense.
This tasted incredibly green and healthy, without being nauseatingly healthy (like wheat grass juice, for example – to me, that’s too healthy for words). No, this was more like a bowl of springtime, delicate and tender.
Most versions of this recipe start with an onion, but I didn’t have any, so I used a few of the remaining garlic scapes from last week.
Spring Pea Soup with Lettuce
- 1/4 C garlic scapes, chopped
- olive oil
- 1 C frozen peas (wish I could have used fresh)
- 1/2 head of lettuce, chopped and washed thoroughly
- 1 C chicken stock
- a little milk or cream
Saute the garlic scapes in olive oil until nearly tender, and add the peas. Saute for a few minutes, and add the chicken stock. Simmer for about 8 minutes, and start adding the lettuce in batches. As each handful wilts, add another; simmer for a few more minutes. Puree in the blender in batches (careful, hot soup can splatter in the blender – ask me how I know this), and return to the stove to reheat briefly. Add a little milk or cream and heat gently, but don’t let it boil.
We served this with open faced salmon patty melts, because we were hungry enough that a simple soup wasn’t going to cut it. I’ve also seen versions of this soup with a potato or two added and simmered until tender, which would also give it some body. Very tasty!