Submit a good cook to a blind tasting of salad greens, and he or she can probably recognize the types by their flavor or crunch. But I bet those same cooks might not think those flavors are strong enough to translate into soup.
This recipe may be just the proving ground they need. It couldn't be simpler: broth, a mix of your favorite greens, a few aromatics and the mild creaminess of a Gorgonzola dolce. You can use an immersion (stick) blender to whiz it up in the pot, which retains some of the nice textures involved, or you can puree it to a fare-the-well, as shown in the accompanying photo.
Keep it in mind when you come across salad greens that are looking a bit limp in the crisper drawer. You can create something unexpectedly bright, and healthful.
Lettuce and Gorgonzola Soup With Basil
3 or 4 servings (makes about 5 cups), Healthy
Using some chicory or other bitter lettuce complements the creamy sweetness of the blue cheese.
Serve with crustless cucumber sandwiches.
Adapted from "Skinny Soups: 80 Flavor-Packed Recipes of Less Than 300 Calories," by Kathryn Bruton (Kyle Books, 2017).
3 cups no-salt-added vegetable or chicken broth
1 rib celery
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound mixed lettuces, such as baby gem, chicory and romaine
2 1/2 ounces Gorgonzola dolce, plus a bit more for optional garnish
3/4 to 1 1/4 cups packed basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Pour the broth into a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, letting it come to a boil.
While that's heating up, trim the leek's root end and tough green leaves. Split the rest in half lengthwise and rinse thoroughly, then cut crosswise into thin slices. Coarsely chop the celery and garlic.
Heat the oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the leek, celery and garlic; cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until slightly softened.
Add the lettuces and the boiling broth; the liquid won't be enough to submerge the lettuces so use the back of a spatula to push them under. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until the greens have softened. Stir in the blue cheese and basil (to taste), then cut the lemon in half and squeeze in its juice.
If you'd like a chunkier, more textured soup, use an immersion (stick) blender right in the pan. Otherwise, transfer to a blender; remove the center knob in the lid and place a paper towel over the opening to avoid splash-ups. Puree to your desired consistency.
Taste and season lightly with salt and pepper, as needed. Divide between bowls; garnish with a little extra cheese and basil, if desired. Serve warm.
Nutrition | Per serving (based on 4, using chicken broth): 120 calories, 7 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 210 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar