Spring Lettuce Soup
Using cannellini beans creates a thick texture for this vegetarian soup.
“The greater variety of greens you use for this recipe, the better,” says Denver-based recipe developer Julia Heffelfinger. While romaine, arugula, and spinach are easy to find, “it’s worth seeking out spring dandelion greens, which contain more potassium than spinach.” To make this recipe vegan, simply omit the poached egg. Pro tip: Look for vegetable broth brands that don’t list tomatoes as one of their main ingredients since they will have an orange tint and take away from the soup’s green color.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 large leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1 small fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and finely chopped
- Kosher salt
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 8-ounce bunch arugula, trimmed and chopped
- 4 cups dandelion greens or baby spinach, packed
- ½ head romaine lettuce, cored and chopped
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup fennel fronds, loosely packed
- ⅓ cup dill sprigs, chopped and loosely packed, plus small sprigs for garnish
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
- 6 large eggs
- Flaky sea salt
- In a large pot, heat the two tablespoons of olive oil. Add the leek, fennel bulb and fronds, and a generous pinch of salt; cook over moderate heat until tender, but not browned, five to seven minutes. Add the garlic and cook until tender, about one minute.
Add the arugula, dandelion greens (or spinach), romaine, vegetable broth, and cannellini beans, and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Partially cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer until greens are wilted, about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in ⅓ cup of dill, and the lemon juice. Using an immersion blender or working in batches in a blender (and returning to the pot), puree the soup until very smooth. Turn heat to low to keep warm.
Meanwhile, fill a large deep skillet with water and bring to a simmer. Add the vinegar, then, one at a time, break the eggs into a small bowl and gently ease them into the simmering water. Cook until the whites are just firm and the yolks are still runny, about three minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggs to a paper towel-lined plate.
Divide the soup into six bowls and top each with a poached egg. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt and more black pepper as desired. Garnish with dill sprigs.