Nourishing Green Soup & Motorboating

For the last few weeks, it seemed like all anybody could say to me was “Green Soup.” I got 4 emails about green soup – did I make green soup, have I tried green soup, do I have a great recipe for green soup?

No to all. Because I was pretty sure green soup was gonna taste like hell. (FYI: it was an educated guess, as I actively dislike cabbage soup, so I convinced myself that green soup was gonna give me scary Willy Wonka flashbacks, too.)

Somebody asked me about it in a meeting, somebody asked me about it in line at Whole Foods. My mother, Saint Joanie, read an article about it Reader’s Digest & tore it out for me.

By the time my doctor brought up green soup after telling me my vitamin levels were low, I decided the Universe was probably sending me some kind of plant-based message. So I went home & looked in my fridge. (Fortunately, I had just been to the store.)

I threw 2 carrots, a leek, and some garlic in a pot over medium heat with olive oil. I used orange-infused olive oil because I had it and I think citrus brightens up leafy green vegetables.

Then I threw in a bag of washed & chopped kale. I don’t know why I keep buying that stuff, I spent the next four minutes pulling pieces of kale rib out of a pot of steaming vegetables. If you try this, buy a bunch of kale and trim it yourself. The kale had shredded carrots and a little bit of purple cabbage in it, so that went in the pot, too.

That’s a bag of baby spinach. I added kosher salt & black pepper at this point, and spent the next couple of minutes pulling out all the sizable spinach stems. I cooked everything until the leaves were pretty well wilted, and dug through my freezer to find some green peas (I used about 8oz) and I grabbed some broccoli I had steamed the night before, probably about one head’s worth.

I added another pinch of Kosher Salt & some pepper, and about 4 cups of chicken stock. Then I grabbed my Motorboat. (You can call it a stick blender at your house, I won’t judge you.)

Here’s the thing about my Motorboat. I didn’t want it. I thought it was dumb. I’d see Emeril grabbing his “motorboat” on TV, sticking it in pots of gravy or soup, and I’d think: “that’s some lazy crap, right there. He has a food processor & a blender, he needs that too? It can’t possibly get things super-smooth either.” I was so high-and-mighty on my Alton-Brown-No-Unitaskers soap box, you could’ve seen up my nose, and I’m 5’3. But I was so, so wrong, and I try to admit my mistakes. Don’t even get me started on how much easier it is to clean than a food processor, or the challenges of pouring hot soup in & out of a blender.

Emeril, I misjudged you. And I’m sorry.

So, I pureed the green soup, staring at it skeptically the whole time. That little bit of purple cabbage did not help the color. I tasted it – not too bad, a bit more salt, a dash of pepper, it needs a little something still – half a cup of orange juice. Motorboat again.

OK, moment of truth. I ladled it out, and threw some Cowgirl Creamery Fromage Blanc on top, since that makes just about anything better.

I’ve gotta admit, I was wrong again. This Green Soup is good.

So, I did what any self-respecting cook would do, I waited for the 9-year-old food critic I live with to get home. (I should add that Sam likes broccoli, corn & cherry tomatoes, and will only otherwise eat vegetables if they’re served with cheese or bacon, or under threat of dessert loss.) So, I served her up some soup, and told her I made it with broccoli.

I swear, on Saint Joanie’s good name, that the kid said: “Mom, this is pretty good.”
Wait until next time, when I make it without cabbage.

Green Soup on, citizens.


One thought on “Nourishing Green Soup & Motorboating

  1. Great story! I was intrigued by the use of motorboat in the title and now I completely get it. They are a great tool for making soups, or helping to emulsify something that you just can't whisk fast enough for.

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