Spring inspires me. All of the new sprouts and beautiful greens at the farmers’ market make me want to find new and tasty ways to enjoy them. My body seems to crave fresh local greens after a cold snowy winter. It intuitively understands its need to eat with the season. The fresh greens available right now naturally detoxify my blood and rejuvenate me. They protect my liver and digestive tract, cleanse my blood and trigger the burning of winter fat.
Spring Greens Soup is a perfect example of what to do with all of this fantastic new produce. It contains swiss chard, which is a nutritional powerhouse, a great source of calcium and potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, and beta-carotene, as well as two carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin). In addition, I add spinach, which always tastes best in the early spring and contains 25% of your daily calcium requirement, plus iron and lutein.
Try this soup. You will feel terrific after eating it, and it tastes even better the next day. Enjoy the season!
SPRING GREENS SOUP
Makes 6-8 servings
1 T olive oil (plus more to drizzle on top before serving)
1 T butter
2 large yellow onions, chopped
2 leeks, cleaned and chopped
1/2 cup white wine
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 bunch Swiss chard or kale (about 1 pound), ribs removed, and coarsely chopped
1 lb. baby spinach
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/3 cup cilantro or parsley
Big pinch of cayenne pepper
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 T lemon juice, or more to taste
Heat oil and butter in a large skillet. Add onions and leeks, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add wine, and simmer, stirring frequently until the pan cools down, and then stir occasionally, always covering the pan again, until the onions and leeks are reduced and caramelized, about 25 to 30 minutes. In a stockpot, add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and add kale/chard and spinach, onion and leek mixture, and cooked rice. Let greens wilt, but don’t simmer so long that they lose color. You want them to be bright green. Add a pinch of cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste, parsley or cilantro, and lemon juice. Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth, or in a regular blender in batches (return it to the pot). Taste, and add more lemon juice or seasonings if desired. Garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of olive oil.
For more Spring Recipes see my Spring Meal Plans.