Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Green Love Soup for Earth Day


Are you still in a post-holiday food coma?  Did too many jelly beans, chocolate eggs or bunny ears make their way into your mouth? This green soup is a wonderful and delicious way to feel like you've wiped the slate clean and cleansed your system. With several kinds of pepper added to spice it up; croutons, chive or cheese garnishes, you can convert even the most skeptical family member.



There's a new television commercial that shows a girl looking at a green smoothie with a nauseated look on her face and she opts to take a vitamin pill instead. Sad. I happen to love green smoothies - especially this recipe that I posted last summer.

I wasn't sure if my husband would have that same look on his face, but he ate two bowls of this soup! I'll look forward to making it again when really fresh greens hit the farmers' markets. I used Swiss Chard and baby spinach but feel free to use kale instead of spinach or any combination of greens you like. The good earth is the limit here!

The recipe was created by Anna Thomas, a screenwriter, producer and vegetarian cookbook author.  Love Soup is her most recent cookbook and this soup is from that book. Here is an article written for the LA Times by Anna Thomas about her green soup , how it developed, and all the various ways she makes it. One version that caught my eye includes mushrooms for a more 'earthy' flavor. This recipe has a little Arborio rice added for bulk (an idea I found in our local newspaper) but cooked potato or squash could also be used according to the author. 


The beautiful soup bowls and saucers were a gift from my blogging buddy, Kathleen, at Cuisine Kathleen. The design on the saucer and bowl is a clematis flower and the name of the pattern is called Clematis from Red Vanilla at Overstock.com. Kathleen knows how much I love clematis flowers and I have at least 70 different varieties planted. I love clematis like Kathleen loves dishes!



Green Soup

Adapted from Love Soup by Anna Thomas
Printable Recipe

Makes: 8 to 10 servings

Well-caramelized onions add a sweet and nutty flavor to this healthy soup. Arborio rice gives it a little extra 'body'.  The peppers give it a nice "zing". A squeeze of fresh lemon juice, added to the plated bowl, adds brightness to the flavors and a little drizzle of olive oil, a velvety lushness.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large yellow onions (about 1 ½ pounds), chopped
1 ¼ teaspoons salt (divided)
2 tablespoons plus 3 cups water - divided)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ cup Arborio rice
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and chopped (about ¾ pound)
1 bunch fresh spinach, large stems removed and chopped
(Kale can also be used - or any greens of your choice)
4 cups vegetable broth or stock (I used low-fat chicken stock)
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Shaved Gruyere, snipped chives and croutons for garnish (optional)

Add the 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet with a lid. Add onions and ¼ teaspoon salt. Over medium-high heat, stir onions frequently until they begin to brown. Reduce heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water, and cover. From time to time, remove the lid and give them a good stir. Continue cooking until onions are very soft and a deep golden color - this will take 30 to 45 minutes. When the onions are almost done, add garlic and cook until fragrant, a few minutes. Remove from heat.

In a separate large stockpot, add remaining 3 cups water and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in rice and bring to a boil, reduce and let simmer 15 minutes. Add greens, stir, return to a simmer and cover. Let greens wilt and settle 10 minutes.

Add onions to stockpot and stir in stock or broth. Add seasonings and blend soup until very smooth with an immersion blender or in a regular blender (in small batches).

Add lemon juice to taste after plating. Garnish each bowl with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and if desired, croutons, chives and/or cheese.

77 comments:

  1. Love this soup! Look delicious!!!

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  2. Your soup looks very healthy Susan! Also lovin' your pretty new soup bowls and cute napkins. Only one question... is there such a thing as too many bunny ears???:@)

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  3. I bet this is really delicious. I need to be eating soup like this! Love the soup bowls. xo

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  4. Anna Thomas is one of my favorites...her Vegetarian Epicure cookbooks have been staples in my kitchen for years. This is the perfect Earth Day soup, I love it!

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  5. The soup looks wonderful! Your table is beautiful and I love the mosaic. All perfect for Earth Day.

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  6. You're right - this would be a great way to feel better after a holiday of decadence ;) I love that it's all good-for-you veggies and rice - no meat needed. And of course, the little bits of bread and cheese as a garnish instantly sold me ;)

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  7. Beautiful flower mosaic !!
    The soup sounds good. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Had planned to make a pot of soup of some kind today, but got involved in another project and time got away.
    Enjoy your evening.

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  8. Your green soup sounds wonderful.
    Love all the beautiful flowers. Nice Mosaic.
    Pat

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  9. Love your napkins in those adorable little soup bowls!

    I could never get my husband to eat green soup! I would sure give it a try though! :)

    Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful evening!
    Aledia @ Plum Perfect

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  10. Love the soup and clematis. One of the saddest things about leaving my old house was leaving a dark purple president clematis behind... it was something special.

    The soup is a great idea for those too full days when you need something simple, delicious and good for you... you made it look like a million bucks!!

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  11. I am so happy to see the cream soup bowls and saucers in your beautiful pics. I didn't see them in person, so this is a much better shot.
    They are sold at Overstock, but they are by Red Vanilla.

    There you go, red, another of your favorite things.:)
    I love clematis too, but I am no way as sophisticated in my knowledge of them as you are. You are the Queen! I am happy to see the 10 that I have growing, even the ones I had to cut down due to black leaf are rebounding.
    You know I couldn't eat that soup, but it looks good! Thanks so much for sharing your pretty setting and healthy soup with Let's Dish!

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  12. My husband would have "that" look for sure! I'd enjoy it but not so sure about him. Such a beautiful green color, too.

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  13. MMMMMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmm

    Boy does that soup look good.

    You are an amazing photographer, too.

    TY for the recipe!

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  14. The soup looks so colorful and healthy, Susan! I love your clematis mosaic and also your beautiful bowls from Kathleen.

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  15. Stunning soup bowls. Stunning table. and a fabulous recipe. I will have to make this one. Happy Earth Day. xo marlis

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  16. it's a great soup! the color is really beautiful

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  17. Everything in this post is delicious Susan..The health soup,the soup bowls and the mosaic, so chic! Thank you dear...Warm hugs...

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  18. I love your soup and your photo of it! These clematis remind me of a French author and his books that I used to read that always mentioned these flowers; 70 varieties! my ! you should open your garden for paid visits! :)
    I have been thinking lately a lot about a green soup that is made in the near east called mouloukhieh with a green that has incredible nutritious properties called jew's mallow; it can be found in Asian markets fresh and in Middle-Eastern stores frozen and. chopped just like spinach. Anyway, your soup is a winner!

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  19. Susan, the clematis cream soup bowls and saucers are perfect for you! I have some of the pieces from Red Vanilla. Perfect for Let's Dish!

    The soup is something I would enjoy, and I feel very healthy just looking at it!

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  20. What a great post; love that recipe and your presentation. Of course we have spinach at least once a week, but never made soup. Saving this one. Thank you.
    Rita

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  21. I love green foods and would definitely happily devour this! Especially given my current obsession with kale and swiss chard!

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  22. What beautiful bowls and your soup sounds delicious! Love your yellow & white budding napkins too :) GORGEOUS clematis and mosaic...WOW!!!

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  23. Hi Susan, Your clematis mosaic is gorgeous! i don't have any here. The soup looks very delicious. I bought some kale yesterday and this might be a good way to use it! Linda

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  24. Perfect gift, they are beautiful, so nice of Kathleen! The table looks so pretty! And the soup delicious :)

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  25. The soup looks yummy! I'm not a green smoothie fan, but this soup is just my thing. I'll give it a try.
    Love the pretty soup bowls from Miss K. Your clematis mosaic makes me want to run to the plant center and buy a variety. I've not had much luck in the past, but think I'll give them a try again.

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  26. Love your soup bowl and saucer...love clean and chic design. So are those jade green show plates.
    A delightful and delicious green soup.

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  27. Looks very healthy to me and perfect for Earth Day. The soup bowl and saucer is darling and I especially like the way you rolled up the napkin.

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  28. Glorious green soup and love the napkins Susan. I'm pinning both for future parties...they are that good! Happy Earth Day, and yes, thanks for posting healthy and beautiful.

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  29. Those bowls are fabulous and green soup looks great in them. We are fans of green soup at our house. Have a great week.

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  30. Lovely mosaic, Susan. And the bowls are adorable. How sweet of Kathleen to give them to you. I do enjoy her posts.
    This soup has tons of good, healthy flavors. I don't make a lot of soups, but this one will be an exception.

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  31. I need to make the green smoothies! My daughter and daughter in laws all do and I could use more greens. The soup sounds like a great addition to get those healthy greens in! I would probably like it more!

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  32. Perfect soup for am Earth day table. Love your soup bowls too....Christine

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  33. Susan, You rascal, no wonder you knew the name of the clematis..You're an expert on clematis as well as cooking! :) LOVE your photos and the soup looks so healthy and delicious.
    Thanks again for the help with the clematis name.
    Babs

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  34. Oh Susan, as usual, your post leaves me wishing we lived closer to one another. All of your photos are incredible.

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  35. That soups sounds good. I like a green soup, though I've not been able to enjoy green smoothies or even Macha tea.
    I'll try this.

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  36. That bright green soup looks extra good against the whiteness of the soup bowls!
    I have 3 clematis that are just starting to blossom...I think it is really too hot here for them to do really well...they never have gotten lush looking like others I have seen around blogland.

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  37. Hungry tonight so I'm back for another cup of soup. ;-)

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  38. That is a lovely bowl of soup and the soup bowl and saucer is very pretty! More than 70 varieties of clematis! Wow, I would really love to be in your garden!! The flowers are really beautiful! Hope you have a great weekend!

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  39. I love the vivid green color of the soup...it sounds great. Your yard must be outstanding when the clematis are in bloom.

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  40. Susan, your soup looks delicious and I love the soup bowls. How nice! I too love clematis and we planted the deep purple and white lots of places at our house in Louisville. Unfortunately, we have way too much shade here, plus it does not winter well. Your plants are absolutely gorgeous!

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  41. I'd eat soup more often if I had your gorgeous soup bowls. I'm new to the green smoothies and I'm loving them. I'm sure I'd love your soup too.

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  42. Oh I'm all for taking the vitamin except for the addition of those exquisite bowls. They are beyond beautiful!

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  43. This is a great posting I have read. I like your article. Thank you

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  44. How pretty! Not to mention that it sounds so fresh, healthy, and delicious. Bring some over!

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  45. I love a good healthy soup like this one, Susan! It can be hard to eat the five different kinds of vegetables a day as we are advised to do, but a soup like this makes that possible.

    The dishes Kathleen sent to you are so pretty! She has wonderful taste. Your clematis plants are gorgeous!

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  46. Back for Foodie Friday! I am late to the party, too many parties this week!
    But M liked my experiment!
    Your soup is still very pretty!

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  47. I think the clematis flowers look lots better than the Green-Eyed Monster Soup :) 70 different varieties ~ wow! Your yard must be gorgeous.

    Since I don't think anything comes from your kitchen without being extra tasty, I know this soup is really good! Thanks for sharing!

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  48. great soup and adore the pictures of your grandbabies on the side column

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  49. That is what I need green soup-beautiful.

    Velva

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  50. I would much rather sip or spoon my greens instead of taking a pill. the color is wonderful and the soup bowls are so pretty. what a sweet gesture and your clematis collage is stunning!

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  51. I love clematis too! The bowls are beautiful and so is the soup!

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  52. Love this recipe for green soup...
    I am at major green eat drive these days... I need my body to heal from al the holiday food.. no doubt !!!
    B/W I too love green smoothies... No pills for me!!!
    And love that soup bowl set and those gorgeous flowers...

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  53. I love your green soup for earth day. Yes, totally a nice way to clean the system after all those chocolate eggs.

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  54. Since our Easter in Greece was one week later than yours, I am still recovering from all this food I had during these days. This soup looks like the perfect antidote! beautiful color. I also love thhe flowers Susan, so pretty!

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  55. Love your clematis! I moved a few last fall and planted some new ones. Hopefully in a couple years I'll start getting blooms.

    The soup looks delicious! Have a bit of chard still in the garden, so soup is on the menu this week.

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  56. Look at these ingredients! Huge vitamin boost! I add some rice as well to add some filling factor to some soups.

    I will try those Brioche buns this weekend. They look great with sesame seeds on top.

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  57. This is such a gorgeous soup! Love it!

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  58. Always nice to have a meal that you don't feel guilty about eating!! Your green-eyed monster soup sounds perfect!
    Beautiful dishes AND flowers, too.

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  59. Always nice to have a meal that you don't feel guilty about eating!! Your green-eyed monster soup sounds perfect!
    Beautiful dishes AND flowers, too.

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  60. Always nice to have a meal that you don't feel guilty about eating!! Your green-eyed monster soup sounds perfect!
    Beautiful dishes AND flowers, too.

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  61. What a beautiful and wholesome soup to celebrate Earth Day! It looks so delicious. Your photography is lovely, too!

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  62. I really don't think green soups get enough play. This looks perfectly delicious with the mix of greens. And yes, I'm super jealous of your bowls :)

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  63. Susan oh my goodness this soup looks so delish and healthy!! I will definitely make it!

    I have one glorious purple clematis...70!!!I must start some new plants..

    I am featuring friend, Designer and Paper Artist Anita Rivera from Castle Crowns and Cottages on my site! She is amazing!

    xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  64. The fact that you have 70+ varieties of clematis speaks to your love for this flower, and they are stunning! You must have quite a garden.

    This soup looks delicious. Caramelized onions makes a great base for vegetarian soups.

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  65. So pretty and tasty this green soup...like the caramelized onion :)
    Hope you are having a great week and thanks for this awesome recipe Susan!

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  66. The soup looks good, but the bowls look spectacular! Kudos to Kathleen.

    Great to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays. Be sure to check out my most recent post for info on my GIVEAWAY.

    - The Tablescaper

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  67. Your pictures make this soup look really good. It kind of looks like creamed spinach to me. A green smoothie I couldn't tolerate, but I think a green soup I could manage. Thanks for sharing the recipe at my party.

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  68. Your clematis collage is stunning, Susan. It's one of my favorite flowers and I always look forward to its spring blooms. Your Monster Soup is a wonderful way to use the early greens that will soon be available in the farmers' market.

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  69. This looks really great. I love the color and the fact that you made it for earth day. So fresh and perfect for spring.

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  70. I like the green soup and this look really good.
    Nice weekend

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  71. Love the name . It got me curious. I was concerned there might be lawn clipping in it, but instead wonderful dark greens. Please share this on my foodie friday linky today.

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  72. Over seventy clematis? Wow! I know your yard is gorgeous when they're in bloom. :) This soup is gorgeous too, and sounds so healthful. There's nothing like something green to make you feel like you're doing something good for yourself!

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  73. I made this soup today... it is FABULOUS!!! I topped it with just a bit of crumbled blue cheese.... Could you please give me the nutritional information?.... Thank you!!

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    1. Thank you, Anonymous! I'm glad you liked it. I was not able to find any nutritional information regarding this soup but if you add all of the ingredients into this recipe calculator link it will help you: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

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    2. You may have to copy and paste the link into your browser's address bar.

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