The Creamiest Green Soup is faintly Scandinavian, with plenty of seasonal greens, an avocado, soft herbs, and a few gentle spices. All blitzed to a velvety haze of spring green.
This is the time of year when some of us quietly slip soup off the menu. As the temperature rises, we can be desperate to escape the warm hug of hearty soups. It feels just a bit too claustrophobic.
Instead we eye up the fresh greens and tender herbs. Our winter-pale hands reach for new season’s carrots, their fronds of frothy leaves tickling our wrist. And crimson cherries and the bluest of pert berries, normally exorbitantly priced, are suddenly affordable and abundant. Everything is so lush.
Coping with lockdown brain
I’m relying on my memory a bit for this. For me there has been no visits to markets – super or farmer’s. The corner shop does for me.
To be honest, the thought of slyly palming an avocado and giving it the lightest of expert squeezes, or sniffing an open box of raspberries, is almost more than I can bear. I miss the casualness of just popping to a well-stocked shop or market. I have a pang for pausing wherever I please, lingering without the thought of a snaking, tired queue of people at the door. So I distract myself.
I cannot complain. We are healthy, one of us is employed (er, not me), we have new cats and a productive garden. So, instead of brooding over what I cannot do, I concentrate on getting through every day with a sense of some small accomplishment. That’s required a change of mindset.
One thing I’ve recently done is stopping myself from drafting long to-do lists. Pre virus I would start the day by making a list of useful things I wanted to do, with wonky boxes to tick off as merited. All very work oriented. And often impossibly long and unattainable.
Instead now, with my brain on its own semi-lockdown, I try to do a few things rather well. Most involve food, of course. But there has also been daily sweaty exercise, and writing for pleasure at my brilliant Vari standing desk (above). The writing-for-the-hell-of-it is something I have never quite scheduled in, not deeming it “useful” enough.
I’m pretty rubbish at self-care, to be honest. And it’s not any easier now. But I’ve given myself permission, when everything is so odd and unsettling anyway, to release the self-imposed, do it all pressure a bit. Are you doing the same? How are you coping?
The Creamiest Green Soup – Essentials
So, the soup. I know way up at the top of this post I said most of us are slipping soup off the menu. But, I think under the circumstances, soup should stay. We are all in need of a hug, aren’t we?
What you need:
- Fat leek or onion
- Broccoli – use it all, even the stems
- Sturdy greens – chard, spring greens or green cabbage are best, but spinach or even past-its-best lettuce work too. Kale just isn’t the right taste, but if that’s what you have, go for it. Or half kale and half lettuce.
- Rocket/arugula – nippier than above and perfect for balance
- Frozen edamame or peas – the former is always my preference but the latter is everyone’s freezer staple
- Fresh dill, tarragon or parsley – or a mix of these
- A juicy lemon
- Ground coriander, cardamom and pepper – white or black
- A ripe creamy avocado – this post tells you how to choose an avocado
Oh, and in keeping with the warmer weather, The Creamiest Green Soup is best served warm or cool, rather than hot. Serves 4-6.
About my Vari desk
I absolutely love my variable-height standing desk from Vari. A big thank you to them for gifting it to me all the way back in November. I got used to it very quickly, and my cranky back has thanked me for it! I only lower it if I am exceptionally tired. Otherwise I stand using it throughout the day, walking around every half hour or so.
There are health benefits to being up on one’s feet rather than sitting, even if we exercise. But the weight management aspect often touted has probably been overstated. The main benefit for me is being more productive, as well as – perhaps counterintuitively – less fatigue. I like to think it has helped me focus, despite my self-diagnosed lockdown brain.
Do you use a standing desk? Isn’t it fab? There are numerous brands of standing desks, with varying options too. The exact one I have, the VariDesk Pro Plus 30 by Vari is currently on Amazon at £275 with free delivery. And there is nothing to put together. Just pull it fully assembled from the box, set it on your desk, pull it to the height you wish, and go. If you buy on the preceding link I get a small commission, but you don’t pay anything extra. Thank you. 🙂
PS As with millions of others, we are walking a lot. And feeling the many benefits. This article, “13 remarkable health benefits of being outdoors“, might be of interest to any with like minds. 🙂
Very Green Soup with Loads of Lemon and Herbs
A faintly Scandinavian soup with plenty of greens, an avocado, herbs, ground coriander and cardamom. Blitz to a velvet haze of spring green.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 fat leek or onion
- 1.7 litres vegetable stock/broth
- 2 courgettes/zucchini
- 1 head of broccoli include the tender stem
- 200 g chard or spring greens or same volume of lettuce or spinach
- 50 g rocket/ arugula
- 100 g frozen edamame or peas
- 20 g dill, tarragon or parsley or a mix of these
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom optional if you don't have it
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 ripe avocado or use 150ml cream
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast optional; or add same of parmesan cheese
- 1 small juicy lemon
Prepare the vegetables. Trim and roughly chop the leek or onion, the courgettes, broccoli and greens of choice, as well as herbs. Halve the avocado, removing the stone with the point of a knife, and scooping out the creamy flesh.
Heat the oil over a low-medium flame in a large saucepan. Add the chopped leek or onion and gently saute for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Halve the lemon.
Add the stock, courgettes, broccoli and chard. Bring up to a gentle simmer, pop on the lid and let cook for 10 minutes. Slip in the rocket, edamame, herbs of choice, ground spices, avocado and nutritional yeast, if using. Turn off the heat. Let the soup sit so that the herbs and rocket "melt" a bit.
Blend until smooth, adding in juice of half a lemon. Taste and perhaps add more lemon and a bit of salt if you wish. Serve warm or cool rather than hot.
My favourite way to make this is with chard, edamame (I'm not so keen on garden peas), dill and all of the spices. But please feel free to use what appeals more to you. As for the greens, I've made this with limp lettuce and it was great! Oh, and the ground cardamom is particularly recommended. It won't make the soup taste like a Swedish pastry - I promise!