Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Cream of Lettuce Soup

We love cooked lettuce! Well, no. No, we don't. Still, I thought I would give this soup a whirl (in the food processor) with the last of the lettuce and it was really quite good in spite of the fact that the lettuce has gone just a tiny bit bitter. But bacon makes everything better; what can I say? Cream doesn't hurt either.

Two heads of lettuce down; 47 left to go. Actually, I think we will just let them bolt. I'm too busy picking peas to worry about the lettuce.

4 servings
30 minutes prep time

200 grams (scant 1/2 pound) bacon
16 to 24 garlic scapes
2 heads Bibb or Boston lettuce
2 cups chicken stock
about 3/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup 10% cream

Chop the bacon fairly finely, and put it in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat to cook slowly until quite crisp. Stir regularly.

Meanwhile, trim the hard, thin ends from the garlic scapes, and cut them into inch-long pieces. Wash and trim the lettuce, and drain it well. Chop it coarsely.

When the bacon is done, lift out the pieces with a slotted spoon, and set them aside. If there is too much fat in the pan - there should be somewhere between 1 and 2 tablespoons - drain it off until the right amount remains. Return the pan  to the heat, and add the garlic scapes. Cook them until softened and browned in spots, stirring regularly; about 2 or 3 minutes. Add the well-drained lettuce, and mix it in until it is all evenly wilted.

Add the chicken stock, and simmer the soup for about 5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. As usual, the amount of salt given assumes that you are using unsalted stock - be prepared to reduce that amount, possibly to zero, if you are using already salted stock.

Put the soup into a blender and blend until very smooth. Add the cream, and blend again. Return the soup to the pot and bring it back up to steaming hot, but do not let it simmer. Serve it with the bacon bits sprinkled over it.

Last year at this time I made Peas, Cheese & Egg Salad with Creamy Garlic Scape & Parsley Dressing.


Danielle said...

I had never even thought of cooking lettuce before until a recent trip to my Nonna's house. She had an excess of romaine that had seen better days. After frying smashed garlic in olive oil, she added chopped lettuce and just kept adding more as it wilted and reduced. She heated it until it was soft and the liquid had reduced to a sauce. It was actually sooooo good! Now I actually do love cooked lettuce!

Ferdzy said...

Interesting thought, Danielle. I've previously only had cooked lettuce in Chinese dishes, and wasn't impressed. But maybe they were just the wrong dishes for me.