Do you know what you get when you scour the internet for recipes that use spring greens? 25 variations on cold soup. Green soup isn't something I'm historically into- it's a little too monastic, and WAY too close to green juice, which I consider an abuse of vegetables. Nonetheless, last Saturday, upon discovering some unexpected free time, I decided to run a taste test: I picked around three pounds of garden greens (sorrel! watercress! spinach! arugula!) and spent the entire afternoon following three different recipes.
Wanna play "good, idea, bad idea*?"
Clockwise from top left: sorrel, watercress and parsley.
Turns out I still don't like green soup- one tasted like pond scum, and one was definitely supposed to be served as a sauce and too salty to eat alone. The only one I did like was more inoffensive than truly enjoyable. None was worth the effort of picking 22 ounces of watercress leaves off their. Pro tip? Never do that.
In the name of waste reduction, I took the second soup to potluck with some baked potatoes, and in doing so realized I'd forgotten to write about this completely lovely watercress and sorrel sauce I made a couple weeks back. It comes from Deborah Madison's "Vegetable Literacy" and is everything those stupid soups weren't- a bright showcase for all the greens occupying my backyard, and totally worth the effort.
Btw, I know Deborah Madison is a goddess and everything, but "Vegetable Literacy" should clearly be a picture book where she snarkily explains what vegetables are to non-Californians. If I had a nickel for every college educated person I know who struggled to differentiate between a cucumber and a zucchini...
(Please don't hate me Deborah! I love you and everything you stand for, and I know you're too good a person to be snarky about vegetable education.)
Ms. Madison suggested serving it with boiled potatoes, but I never boil something I can roast so here we are. I also suspect it would be great with roasted chicken, or a number of white fishes, but you'll have to tell me.
* Just to be clear, this was Saturday a week ago. Yesterday's bad idea involved an unexpectedly gigantic free Craigslist chicken coop it took ten of us to unload from the truck.
Sorrel Sauce with Watercress, Parsley and Chives
From Vegetable Literacy, by Deborah Madison
1 hard boiled egg
2 teaspoons walnut oil
1/3 cup yogurt
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup packed sorrel leaves, stemmed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup parsley leaves
1 cup watercress leaves, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp chopped chives
Add yogurt, sour cream, walnut oil and the egg yolk to a food processor and thoroughly blend. You're not going to use the egg white (I think I just ate mine), so don't be confused. Add the sorrel and pulse a couple times, then add parsley and watercress and keep pulsing until there are no big leaves left. I was fine with mine being pretty well blended, so I let the food processor just blend for a while.