Super Soup

It’s Spring, but around here there’s still snow on the ground and we just entered the dark times between when the winter farmers’ market closes and the growing season farmers’ market begins. That means when I discovered this morning that I still have three quarts of this soup in the freezer, I was super happy.

I wrote about this briefly last year, but didn’t post the recipe, so here it is:

Super Soup*, adapted from Anna Thomas’ Green Soup

makes 6-8 qts – enough to freeze, scale down if you’re just making dinner

  • 6 qts chicken stock (unsalted, ideally home made)
  • 3 bunches spinach or chard, trimmed and chopped
  • 3 bunches kale or collards, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 to 2 bunches chives, snipped
  • 1 large bunch parsley, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt (more to taste)
  • 3 medium potatoes (Yukon gold or similar)
  • 2 large onions
  • olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • cayenne
  • juice of 1 to 2 lemons

Combine greens, chives, and parsley in a large soup pot with 3 cups stock and salt. Scrub the potatoes, cut into small pieces, and add them to the pot. Bring to a boil, turn down to low, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer for about half an hour.

Meanwhile, chop the onions, heat a 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet, and cook the onions until golden brown and soft. Don’t hurry them; this should take about half an hour. 

Add the caramelized onion to the soup. Put a bit more oil in the skillet and saute the garlic in it for just a couple of minutes, until fragrant. Add the garlic to the soup pot and simmer the soup for 10 minutes more.

Add remaining chicken stock and puree the soup in a blender, in batches, or use an immersion blender. Blend just until it looks smooth; potatoes can turn gummy if you process them too much.

Return the soup to the pot, bring it back to a simmer, and taste. Add a pinch more salt if needed, grind in some black pepper, and add a pinch of cayenne and lemon juice. Stir well and taste again. Correct the seasoning to your taste with more lemon juice or salt or cayenne.

Serve some immediately, garnished with a drizzle of fruity olive oil.

Freeze the rest and hope it lasts till fresh greens hit the farmers’ markets again.

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*so named because as much as I like to be snide about “superfoods” this soup is packed with bone broth and all the greens and will totally help you through the dark times.

(Relatively) Quick Posole

Child the younger remains a very particular, if quirky, eater. One of his New Year’s resolutions was to try more things, which we’re doing our best to support. Wish us luck.

In the meantime, one of the things he’ll eat is Posole, if it’s Posole from the Nellie’s Oyster stand at one of the Santa Rosa Farmers’ Markets. Since we live in Massachusetts most of the time, this preference is a teeny bit limiting, so I decided to attempt it myself.

I knew the preferred version was chicken-based, not fancy, and not too terribly spicy*. After reading through a number of online recipes, I ended up with the following, which was deemed acceptable once he added lemon juice.** It’s basically chicken soup, with Mexican influenced spicing and no vegetables. Perhaps it’s not so surprising he likes this after all.

Makes 6 to 8 servings
  • ~1 tablespoon olive oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground ancho chili
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tsp fresh)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 to 3 cups hominy, drained and rinsed

Toppings, use whatever and however many you like:

  • Lime wedges (or Lemon, if you’re like my kid)
  • Diced avocado
  • Diced onion
  • Shredded lettuce or cabbage
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced sweet peppers
  • Diced hot peppers
  • Chopped fresh oregano
  • Hot sauce

In a large saucepan, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the garlic and spices and heat just until aromatic, then add the chicken pieces and cook 1-2 minutes. Flip the chicken and add the herbs, then the stock and about 1 tsp of salt. Stir to make sure nothing is stuck on the bottom of pan and bring to a simmer. Cook at a simmer until the chicken is cooked through and can be pierced easily with a fork, 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the chicken, place in a medium-sized bowl and shred with two forks, then return the shreds to the pot. Add hominy. Taste and add more salt if desired. Simmer another 5 minutes. Serve with toppings.

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*Just spicy enough for a “belly warmer”, as his Grandma would say.

**Yes. Lemon, not lime. I just don’t understand this kid.