Lettuce make soup!

We have had huge success with lettuce this year. So huge in fact that I am worried about how to use it all! So I started asking friends and reading up on the internet – hmm I wonder if you can make lettuce jam? Lettuce fritters?

Well, the sensible answers I got, bearing in mind this is a one person family for feeding lettuce related dishes to (Richard doesn’t like greens very much) were all headed by lettuce soup. My first reaction was yuk, how can that be nice and the answer is – try the recipe and see! I used mainly Cos and Romaine lettuce as that’s what was threatening to bolt in the garden.!

I am now definitely a fan of lettuce soup, I have multiple pots sitting neatly in the freezer and if I have another glut in a month or two, I will be making it again. I have to say if I was being given a blind taste test I would just say it’s a green soup but would not have guessed lettuce. The butter I think adds flavour but of course, if you really can’t have the fat content there are ways around it like using a spray oil instead for cooking.

The other thing I must mention if we are on the topic of lettuce, is how often I use the leaves as a wrap. So my smoked salmon/lettuce or hard boiled egg/lettuce sandwiches are just that – no bread just a wrap made from a large crispy lettuce leaf. I like it – give it a try and see what you think!

Lettuce Soup

The quantities in this are fairly arbitrary, I tweak them to match what I have coming out of the garden or in the fridge at that moment.

Ingredients

  • Large handful of chopped spring onions
  • 1 garlic clove chopped (or skip if you don’t like it)
  • 3 tablespoons or so butter
  • Salt (small teaspoon) and pepper maybe half a teaspoon
  • I medium to large potato chopped into slices or diced
  • Then about 12 ounces of lettuce – I often use even more
  • 3 cups of really nice chicken stock – or use a chicken stock cube

Method

  1. Sauté the spring onion and garlic in a large saucepan with about half the butter. Stir gently until they are soft and then add the salt and pepper and cook for another minute or so.
  2. Now add the potato chunks, the lettuce roughly ripped to pieces and the chicken stock. Bring to boil and simmer for 12 minutes or so, until the potatoes are cooked. I leave the lid on the saucepan to preserve the liquid.
  3. I have been known to add more lettuce at this point if I felt it was too thin, in which case I just simmer a little longer to soften the lettuce (it wilts pretty fast) and then continue.
  4. Let the mixture cool a bit and then purée with either a hand blender or a food processor.
  5. Finally, stir in the rest of the butter and then taste for seasoning. This freezes well, just defrost and then warm in a saucepan.

I realise this is a fairly loose recipe but each time I have made it, I have tweaked the amounts of the main ingredients. It is a very flexible concept that can work with whatever you have to hand!

25 Comments
25 replies
  1. ETHEL BALLA says:

    Thanks for this too! I will save this recipe for next year as the lettuce season is over in my garden this year. Sounds very good.

    Reply
  2. Tracy W says:

    I have to be honest I thought you had lost the plot, Lettuce Soup! I have added the recipe to my book though and must give it a try.

    Blessings, Tracy x

    Reply
  3. Freda says:

    Hi Joanna, another way to use a glut of lettuce is what my Mum did. Mince all of the salad items together.( The lettuce goes to nothing) so you can put lots in. It sounds awful and takes on the colour of beetroot, but believe me it is lovely, very moorish. Nowadays a blender is used but only for a few seconds as it doesn’t need to go like a smoothie, you need to be able to dish it up as a heaped tablespoon on the plate along with your potatoes, cooked meat etc.

    Reply
  4. Eva R. says:

    Can you actually taste the lettuce (and maybe even identify the type of lettuce used by taste) or does it just colour and thicken the soup?

    Reply
    • Joanna Sheen says:

      Hi Eva, it tastes sort of ‘green’, veggie and pleasant… I can’t say the taste of lettuce is that strong. Joanna

      Reply
  5. Tricia Lines says:

    I have made this soup a number of times in the past. For a very fresh taste add a couple of sprigs of mint towards the end . Also try adding half watercress with the lettuce and perhaps top with a swirl of Greek yoghurt or crème fraiche ( or a little cream if feeling indulgent)

    Reply
  6. Sylvi C says:

    Thanks for that Joanna. I’ve also used up a lettuce glut in spinach puree and green pesto. Any green stuff pureed with garlic, Parmesan, pine nuts or sunflower seeds, olive or rapeseed oil & I use on pizzas or pasta.

    Reply
  7. Fiona says:

    I started making lettuce soup 39years ago. Everyone thought I was mad. So pleased to hear that someone else has made it at last. Hope you enjoyed it.

    Reply
    • Joanna Sheen says:

      You are a trailblazer Fiona – obviously! I guess we just need to think about lettuce as a green veg and get on with it! Smiles, Joanna

      Reply
  8. Mrs Karen Jenkins says:

    I have made lettuce soup for more years than I can remember………….after the first lot I was continually asked to make it. I have never drunk in my life but I have always put about a half bottle of white wine in the pot and even enjoy it myself and always add either either half fat creme fraiche or cream upon serving………..try and enjoy.

    Reply
  9. Sarah says:

    Many people wouldn’t think that it’s possible to work with lettuce in anything other than a salad, but it goes to show that we really don’t have a good grasp on how to use ingredients that grow in our own country! We’re more familiar with tacos than lettuce, which is a shame because the food miles of the latter are often far reduced. Especially in the climate crisis of today, we should all be ore savvy about the ingredients around us.

    Reply
  10. Mrs Karen Jenkins says:

    That is my comment above………….I can make lettuce soup but obviously not too good with the computer………..Karen Jenkins.

    Reply

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