Have you ever had lettuce in your soup? You might think it’s weird, but I promise it is so worth a try. Naturally the texture is more delicate than spinach or kale, so when it’s swimming in a piping hot broth it becomes very tender with a flavor is light and clean.
There are some beautiful varieties of local lettuces appearing at the farmer’s markets, so now is the perfect time to experiment. We used a gorgeous variety called galisse; an heirloom similar to a butter lettuce. Either variety would work perfectly, and in case you’re wondering, the key to avoiding a big soggy bite is to cut the leaves into small ribbons and add to a light broth just before serving.
For the record, this is my guy’s creation and we’ve also been referring to it as Garbage Soup — but only because the broth is made completely of scraps that would usually be thrown in the trash. Also, this version is pretty much comprised of remnants from other dishes, so the potatoes, peas, croutons, and cheese were all remainders hiding in the fridge. In that sense it’s not a recipe as much as it is (hopefully) inspiration to repurpose scraps and leftovers into a whole new dish. As it is here though, it’s worth buying ingredients for because it is so fragrant and clean, with a perfect mix of textures and some decadent bits. It really is like a bowl of Seattle spring/summer.
Spring/summer because we never know which is which, or when one officially starts. Here’s our take on
Garbage Lettuce Soup!
A quick broth made from the scraps of English peas (strings removed for their bitter factor), a few tops and tails of spring onions and chive strings. Add water, bring to a boil then simmer lightly for about 45 minutes. Strain, season to taste with salt.
Slice a boiled Yukon Gold potato and line the bottom of a bowl. Makes for a hidden buttery surprise.
Cover the potatoes with the sliced lettuce, fresh peas (from the shells simmering in the broth), salt, and pepper.
Ladle the seasoned broth over the veggies.
Top with toasted croutons.
Grate pecorino or parmesan over the top and add a light drizzle of olive oil.
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