Monday, June 11, 2012

Chilled Arugula Soup

The CSA has started up again and as is apt to happen in the early part of the season, I have masses of salad greens. I like salad as much, maybe more, than the next person, but there is only so much one can eat. When I noticed that I had two bunches of arugula that were looking a wee bit sad in the fridge, I started trolling How to Cook Everything Vegetarian for a recipe I knew I’d seen Mark Bittman do somewhere. I think the recipe I was remembering was this one, for lettuce soup, but I was struck by the possibility of a creamy chilled soup that really featured some spicy greens. The recipe called for cream or milk, but I boiled some turnips (also courtesy of the CSA) in vegetable stock instead. Here it is:

Chilled Arugula Soup 
adapted slightly from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups (roughly) washed arugula or other spicy green (watercress, sorrel, and spinach are all recommended in the recipe)
3 cups vegetable stock
3 turnips, cubed
tiny, tiny drizzle of fish sauce (at the recommendation of Lynn Rosetto Kasper)
salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, bring the turnips, vegetable stock and fish sauce to a low boil. While you do this you can wash the greens. If they are large, you can chop them, but if you have a decent immersion blender you really shouldn’t need to. Once the turnips are soft (about 10 minutes, but it depends on how small you chopped them), in a large soup pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat; when it is hot add the greens. Stir until the greens wilt, then add the stock and turnips. Bring almost to a boil, and get out the immersion blender. Blend until smooth, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill and serve.

If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can chill the un-pureed soup and then put it in the food processor, blender, or food mill once it is cool. Esteemed Chef Bittman includes some cream or milk in his recipe at this point, but I opted to leave this out. You could try soy milk or rice milk for a vegan alternative, but I found that the turnips added enough creaminess for me. Enjoy!


  1. Yes, I need this! I have soooo much "cooking spinach" sitting in my fridge! Best part of soups? They FREEZE so well!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Glad to be of use! I also like this soup because it's good hot, lukewarm (which is how I ate it last night when I got impatient with the chilling), or cold (as I ate it for lunch today). This is key for packing lunches... :)