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Green Soup

Active Time: 45 minutes / Cook Time: 40-45 minutes / Total Time: 1 hour

Makes 4 servings, about 2 cups each

Nutrition Corner: “Green Soup” was popularized by Anna Thomas, but the idea is a common one: take lots of vegetables, especially leafy green ones, add a bit of starch for body, choose your seasonings, puree, and feel happy about the tasty choice you made for nourishing your body. Leafy greens are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and the limited addition of starchy carbohydrates gives an energy boost while giving the soup more structure and heft. Green soup uses caramelized onions (or leeks) and sizzled garlic as kapow! flavors, but other than those two necessary additions (and you could omit the garlic if you wanted to), this is a clean-out-the-vegetable-drawer soup. It is also a recipe that will come together easily once you have all of your ingredients prepped; usually we suggest prepping in pockets of cooking time as you go along, but not this time!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, divided
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons plus 3 cups water, divided
  • ¼ cup Arborio rice OR 1 medium Yukon gold potato, peeled or just well-scrubbed
  • 2 lbs. of greens, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped (use a mix of at least two: Swiss chard, spinach, kale, and/or mustard greens)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth*
  • big pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, for serving

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and ¼ teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring often, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tablespoons of water, and cover. Cook, stirring often until the pan cools down some and then occasionally afterward (always cover again!) until the onions have a deep caramel color and have reduced greatly in volume, about 25-30 minutes. Scrape into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Return the pan to medium-low heat and add the remaining teaspoon of oil. When it is hot, add the garlic and fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Scrape into the bowl with the onions and set aside.
  4. While the onions are cooking, add 3 cups of water, ¾ teaspoon of salt, and the rice or potato to a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook 15 minutes. (We are using the rice as a starch so the cooking process is different from how you would typically make rice)
  5. After 15 minutes, add the greens to the pot with the rice. Return to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes (if using kale, cook for 15).
  6. Add the onion mixture, broth, and cayenne pepper. Return to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring once, until the greens are tender, about 5 minutes more.
  7. Puree the soup in the pot using an immersion blender, or transfer the soup in batches to a blender and puree (return soup to the pot).
  8. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Taste and add more lemon juice, if desired.
  9. Divide soup into 4 airtight containers, drizzling each with ½ tablespoon olive oil. Take for lunch on Days 1 and 4.

*If you have leftover coconut milk around, feel free to swap it in for some of the broth. Do not use more than ¼-1/3 cup coconut milk for the total liquid called for, though.