Ahhhh. Remember summer? Kicking back with a few cool drinks (I even have that exact table that they’re sitting at in the video, a hand-me-down from my grandma), campfires, swimming, barbecues…
And lettuce. Lots of lettuce.
It seems like so long ago after a solid three months with potatoes, rutabaga, and beets as the mainstays of my diet, but once upon a time I had way more lettuce than I knew what to do with. I ate salad twice a day and volunteered to bring salad to any event possible, but even though I was pretty sure I was about to transform into a guinea pig, I could not make a dent in it.
Enter lettuce soup.
At the time, frankly, it sounded disgusting. But you gotta trust Emeril, right? And I was so desperate that I didn’t care how it tasted, I just wanted it gone. Looking back I should have ding-dong ditched it on my neighbors’ porches, but that didn’t occur to me at the time.
So that brings us to last week. Craig had a string of night shifts so I was eating dinners solo, and it was 6 degrees outside. I opened the freezer and there it was, calling to me.
Summer in a bowl.
Lettuce Soup(Emeril Lagasse, via the Food Network)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup sliced onion
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves, plus more for garnishing
1 tablespoon chopped chives, plus more for garnishing
2 teaspoons chopped tarragon leaves, plus more for garnishing
2 heads Boston lettuce, leaves torn
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream or evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Chive blossoms, for garnishing, optional
Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large saucepan. When hot add the onions and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the parsley, chives, tarragon and lettuce and stir until the lettuce is completely wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. When ready to serve, process the soup, in batches, taking care since the soup is hot, then return to a clean saucepan. Stir in the heavy cream or evaporated milk and the salt and pepper and simmer for another 5 minutes, or until heated through. Adjust seasoning, if necessary, and serve immediately, garnished with fresh herbs and chive blossoms, if desired.
What about you? Any creative ways of using up lettuce? We also tried grilling it, which was halfway decent.