I wanted to post this a few days earlier to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and the Spring Equinox but, as John Lennon said “Life is what happens while you are making other plans”. However, today IS my daughter’s 25th birthday so there is definitely something to celebrate!😀
In honor of all the above occasions here is a scrumptious or “scrummy”, as Mary Berry would say, soup. I have seriously been watching The Great British Bake Off way too much 😬!
This is a Spring Detox Soup that tastes delicious and is FULL of liver and kidney cleansing greens like dandelion, stinging nettle, spinach, chard, kale, cabbage and any other greens you want to add. It has potatoes, carrots and peas to help thicken it and counter balance the bitterness of the greens so even children will like it.
If you can’t find stinging nettles don’t worry just add more of the other greens. Stinging nettles are consider a weed in most places but they are a potent anti-inflammatory, excellent for kidney, liver and gall bladder health and full of Vitamin C, iron and trace minerals like boron which helps the body hold onto calcium (great for osteoporosis). Yes, you must wear gloves to harvest and strip off the leaves but once you cook it the sting is gone. It is worth it for its’ health benefits.
Dandelion greens are available in many markets now as their healing properties are being more appreciated. They are very good for liver cleansing/detoxifying. By mixing all sorts of greens together in a soup your organs get a nice spring cleaning and tonic that is easy to digest and tastes good. So here’s to spring, belated St. Patrick’s Day and Audrianna’s birthday!
RECIPE for SPRING GREEN DETOX SOUP
Ingredients (makes a big pot of soup, at least 8 servings)
- Small bunch of chard
- Small bunch of kale
- 4 cups spinach
- 1 – 2 cups fresh stinging nettle (do not used dried)
- 1 small bunch dandelion greens
- 1/4 head green cabbage
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 celeriac bulb (see photo above-the weird gnarly whitish root) – this is optional
- 1 leek
- 4 – 5 medium sized potatoes (preferably white or gold but I only had red so used those)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen organic peas
- 2 cloves garlic
- 6 – 8 cups vegetable stock
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- Seasonings: fresh thyme, parsley, mint, lemon juice and zest, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, bay leaves.
- Carefully wash all dirt from the leek & chop into small pieces.
- Rinse all the greens and chop leaves into small pieces & dice the stems of the chard.
- Dice celery, carrot & finely chop the cabbage.
- Rinse & chop the dandelion greens & the spinach, making sure to get all the dirt off the leaves.
- If potatoes are organic and yellow or white no need to peel. Otherwise, peel them & dice into cubes.
- Using rubber gloves, rinse the stinging nettle & pull or cut off all the leaves. Discard any thick stems or yellowish leaves. In small saucepan boil the sting nettle in about a cup of water for about 5 minutes. Drain the water into a cup & save for the soup ( it’s full of nutrients). Blanch the cooked nettles in cold water for a minute and set aside.
- In a large Dutch oven or soup pot heat the coconut oil & add the chopped leeks, carrots, celeriac and celery, cooking for a few minutes until they soften. Mince the garlic cloves & add those & sauté for a few more minutes.
- Add chopped cabbage, chard stems and potatoes, stirring into the mixture then add all the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then turn it down and let simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Add all the chopped greens except the nettles & continue to simmer for another 15 minutes or so until the potatoes are soft.
- Now add the nettle, the peas and all the seasonings & cook on low for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool a bit before you blend it with an emulsifier or in a food processor or blender.
- Return blended soup to pot and reheat. Add more seasonings if you like, lemon juice & Braggs Liquid Aminos (or a spoonful of miso) really enhance the flavors.
- Garnish with freshly chopped chives or green onions, a swirl of plain kefir if you are not vegan and a few mustard, radish or broccoli flowers😋.
This soup is even better the next day. If you make a big pot you will be able to enjoy it for a few days. As you sip this “scrummy” soup know you are giving your body a nourishing and cleansing spring cleaning!
Serve with a hearty bread like Irish Brown Soda Bread (recipe coming in next post) or my Homemade Cauliflower Crackers (see previous post).