Emerald City Soup

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Emerald soup

Remember the classic movie of “The Wizard of OZ”  where Dorothy is directed to the City of Emerald in hopes for someone there to transport her back to Kansas? While making this soup, that scene was replaying itself in my head.  In fact, the name I gave this soup was inspired by the movie. I thought to go with that than generic titles  such as green vegetable soup recipe  as there are many variations of them.  Incorporating green vegetables daily in your diet seems to be one of the most recommended pieces of nutritional advice given today. While I had many objections to eating vegetables as a kid, green vegetables were an exception.

My parents never had to put in much painstaking efforts to encourage me to eat my green veggies. I suppose the parental negative reinforcement of threatening me with no dessert somewhat helped to a certain degree. Growing up, I would snack on raw broccoli and spinach. Thankfully, I never really had to compete with anyone as everyone else didn’t seem to share my love for these vegetables. They were a treat to me second to high quality Swiss dark chocolate.  I’ve also looked forward to a creamy green soup my mother made for dinner be it broccoli soup or spinach soup.  As much as I like green soup, I haven’t had much success achieving the creamy and velvety consistency that I desire in a soup. I didn’t want to use potatoes nor heavy cream as a thickening agent. At the same token, I don’t care for watery soups either.

This green soup has been one of the most healthiest vegetable soup ideas I’ve ever used. And one of the easiest as well. It has the best of three worlds; broccoli, spinach, and kale. Ever since my newfound love for fresh kale has been publicly vociferated to others, nearly to the point of insanity, I wanted to utilize it in other ways aside for chips, and salads. I normally wouldn’t mind eat kale raw as it is but I had a surplus of them. I shamefully confess to overstocking on produce but I do make sure that nothing goes to waste.  I didn’t have to fish out too far for vegetable soup ideas for the week. While I only used three green vegetables, you can use chard in lieu or in addition to kale. You can include green peas as well.  What I like most about green soup is that it is loaded with hearty, fiber-rich vegetables. Besides, a steaming bowl of green soup, packed with the season’s freshest vegetables, is a healthy way to jumpstart your dinner. Serve with a swirl of fruity, fragrant extra-virgin olive oil for richness if you like. Reserve leftovers for an improvised Alfredo sauce.  

For this recipe, you will need:

  1. 1 tablespoon of olive oil + more for garnish (optional)
  2. 1 onion chopped
  3. 2 cloves of garlic minced
  4. 1 lbs of fresh kale leaves removed from stems
  5. 2 cups of chopped broccoli
  6. 1/2 cup of green peas (optional)
  7. 1 cup of fresh spinach stems trimmed
  8. 4 cups of reduced sodium vegetable broth
  9. Salt and pepper for taste
  10. Toasted whole wheat croutons (optional)

Instructions

Heat oil in a stock pot over high heat.  Add chopped onions and saute for 5 minutes till they begin to brown. Add garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.  Add the vegetables, salt, and pepper and saute for 5 minutes. Pour in broth, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Puree with a hand blender or in batches using a standing blender.  Serve hot and garnish each bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and croutons.

Yields 6 servings

 

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