Wednesday, 5 August 2015

SUMMER LETTUCE SOUP


With a glut of lettuce on our allotment now threatening to bolt and turn to seed  at the moment it's time to blitz up a summer soup. Lettuce can be counted among the superfoods and  Cos lettuce (romaine) and its mini version, the gem lettuce, are up there at the top of the superfood list when it comes to vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fibre. 
They are a great source of vitamin A from beta carotene, vitamin K and a good source of dietary fibre, potassium and iron. If you can't find cos or gem lettuce then throw in your favourite lettuce plus some watercress to boost the nutrition.  To make it more substantial, add some avocado or broccoli and pumpkin seeds.

Serves 4 as a light starter or summer snack
Large lettuce - cos (romaine) gem, mixture of both
1 teaspoon of coconut oil
1 small clove of garlic
1 shallot, 1 small onion or 5 spring onions
600ml vegetable  stock
2-3 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
With fresh basil - add a small handful, approximately 10 large leaves
With fresh parsley - add a small handful, approximately 15g

Instructions

  1. Fry the onion and garlic in coconut oil for 5 minutes until softened but not brown.
  2. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer on a medium heat for a few minutes.
  3. Take off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the roughly-chopped lettuce, lemon juice, herbs and a pinch of sea salt and pepper and transfer to a blender.
  5. Blitz until smooth and taste for seasoning (if you don't have a strong blender try blending the lettuce with half the stock initially before blending in the rest).
  6. To serve straight away blend with some ice cubes, otherwise leave to chill in the fridge.
  7. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and add a grind of black pepper to serve.