Bolting Lettuce Soup

Lettuce get rid of all that bolting lettuce, in soup?? I was convinced by Amy at We are never full to try lettuce soup. She shared her grandmother's recipe for cold Butter Lettuce Soup, and of course, not having any Butter lettuce, but several small heads of heat crazy, bolting Savoy, I thought what the heck, we'll try that. Adding in some Tatsoi leaves for their lovely, deep green, along with the chives, and a single radish for garnish. What serendipity, I had it all!

Besides awesome color, and a positive spin on the sad end of my lettuce, this soup was cool, refreshing and quite delicious, if I do say so. Flavorful, with a slight tangy, bitterness, reminiscent of endive, nicely offset by the potato and cream. Bob, who would rather do without lettuce altogether, liked it a lot. Especially as he knew a beef tenderloin steak was immediately following.

Well, since the lettuce, tatsoi and chives came from our garden, this will be my July 15 entry for the Grow Your Own event, hosted by Andrea this time.

First of all I went out with my cute little basket and gathered the produce.

(Served 2)
* 3 smallish heads lettuce (they don't really, absolutely, have to have bolted)
* Tatsoi, watercress or arugula leaves as desired
* bit of olive oil or a tablespoon of butter
* 1/2 large onion, diced
* 1/2 or whole, small new potato, peeled, cubed and boiled till soft (I used the water prior to dipping my lettuce)
* 1/8 cup chopped chives
* 2 tablespoons dry sherry or white wine
* 1 cup chicken stock or vegetable broth
* 3/4 cup buttermilk (I used milk with yogurt well blended in) or cream
* ice bath

1. Bring water to boil in a medium saucepan, meanwhile preparing an ice bath by putting ice cubes and cold water into a large bowl. Chop bottoms off the lettuces and immerse leaves in the boiling water for thirty seconds. With tongs, remove all greens from the boiling water and “shock” them in the ice water to keep their color. After cooling in the ice water, remove and allow to drain and dry on a towel.

2. Meanwhile, in the olive oil (or butter), sauté your diced onion until translucent. After three minutes or so, add the boiled potato and stir. Add a pinch of salt and about half the chives, stirring again. After a minute or so, add the sherry or wine and allow to cook down (about one minute). When the alcohol has cooked off, add broth and stir. Toss in the rest of the chives and allow to cook for 30 seconds then shut off burner.

3. Remove pan from stove and pour into blender, adding half the cream or buttermilk, along with the cooled and drained greens (removed from any stocks), and puree. Add the final bit of buttermilk, and blend one more time. Taste for seasoning & add more salt if necessary.

4. Refrigerate until well chilled.

5. Serve in bowls with some chopped chives and sliced radish. If desired, swirl in some thinned sour cream, buttermilk or regular cream. For a lighter taste, I decided not to go with any extra cream, and it was great. A perfect summertime change from salad.


we are never full said...

oh yes, yes, yes!!! thank you so much for giving this a try! it's weird cause sometimes we post things that we're sure will be a winner on the blog and they get the least attention. that's how this lettuce soup was for us - i think people are just too weirded out about the idea of pureeing the stuff they usually only eat raw in salads. i'm so glad you enjoyed it. it was very refreshing on a warm summer day and i think it's great you played around w/ the lettuce used. that's the great thing about lettuce soup - you can really try any kind and get slightly different results each time.

again, thanks!

amy and jonny

Claudia said...

I really enjoyed whipping it up and now want to try again with maybe Butter lettuce or even half Romaine.

Sunny said...

oh wow I love the color!

Anonymous said...


Thanks so much for your lovely compliments! That said, I've never had lettuce soup before, but I can see the concept of how well lettuce will go well with most anything pureed since it's usually neutral. That soup is such a beautiful shade of green, and a recipe I'm bookmarking!

Andrea said...

The color is beautiful and it sounds very refreshing. Thanks for sharing your post with Grow Your Own!

Nupur said...

Making soup with lettuce sounds very interesting and unusual. I love the color of the soup!

Johanna said...

this looks delicious - I will bookmark it for when summer comes around as I am always interested in lettuce recipes

Anonymous said...

So glad to have come upon this! I was a little worried there could be nothing done with my bolted lettuce. Being stubborn and always looking for solutions though, I headed to the internet and I'm excited to have found your recipe. Can't wait to try it!