To kick off our new cooking blog, Kat and I decided to each tackle a recipe or two from Emeril’s latest, and truly delightful, cookbook, Farm to Fork. We both liked the ethos of the cookbook — the idea that we should be eating seasonally, with fresh ingredients and using local resources. There are a lot of really delicious recipes in the book (wait until you see what Kat has cooked) but I wanted to try and stay true to the message of the book: use fresh, local ingredients. So, I picked “Lettuce Soup.”
Yes, I put lettuce in a soup.
The recipe calls for 2 heads of Boston lettuce, but I used the green leaf lettuce and some baby romaine that I had growing in my garden. The fresh herbs Emeril lists are: parsley, chives, mint and tarragon. Again, I substituted for what I had growing in my garden: parsley, mint, sage and thyme. Next, I used some of the stock (he calls for chicken) from our Christmas turkey (it’s organic, free-range, and from The Healthy Butcher) that we made back in December (it was in the freezer and I wanted to use it up). The last substitution I made (sue me!) was to add some fresh new potatoes from the farm where we had picked 8 quarts of strawberries the day before instead of the heavy cream (I’m not such a fan of cream in soups although I did add a drop of half & half just for the colour).
The rest of the ingredients: olive oil, garlic, onion (also from the farm), salt and white pepper, we had at the cottage (bought from the grocery store).
Overall, I really enjoyed the soup. It was hearty and perfect for the rainy Saturday afternoon we spent up north. I enjoy blended soups and like that potatoes add the necessary bulk to cream them up without using so much dairy. But I especially felt proud and, I’ll admit, a little self-righteous using ingredients that were beyond local — that I had literally grown myself. Also, I would have never imagined that putting lettuce in soup would turn out to be so tasty.
The leftovers are in the freezer for a second lunch we’ll have this upcoming weekend.
All in all the soup turned out, in my mind, to be quite tasty.