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Lettuce soup

Lettuce soup

PT25M

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This is a light and elegantly flavoured soup, particularly good in summer. It is a wonderful way to use up slightly limp-looking lettuce in the fridge. You can use a mixture of different lettuces in this soup but do stick to green varieties and ones that have a more typical lettuce look (not things like frisee, lamb’s lettuce or radicchio).

Alternatives: sorrel also works well in this soup – replace 100g of the lettuce weight with sorrel leaves (with the ribs of the leaves removed). It adds an extra astringency to the soup. This dish is also lovely served chilled in the summer. In this case, it is better as a smooth soup.

Ingredients

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  • 350g of lettuce, (iceberg is a good one to include in this soup)
  • 2 shallots, or 5 spring onions, finely chopped (actual spring onions – as in young, fresh onions – are great here when in season)
  • 30g of butter
  • 1/2 bunch of dill
  • 1 tbsp of flour
  • 750ml of chicken stock, or vegetable stock
  • 35ml of double cream
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • salt
  • pepper
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Method

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1
Shred the lettuce into neat slices, about the thickness of tagliatelle. Wash well and drain
2
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the shallots (or spring onions) and sweat gently without colouring for 5 minutes
3
Chop the stalks and half of the dill fronds very finely, then add to the shallots. Season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 10 minutes with the lid on
4
Add the lettuce and stir well to coat with the butter. Cook for a few minutes so it begins to wilt and release some of its liquid. Add the flour and cook for a further 2–3 minutes
5
Add the stock, stirring vigorously, until the lettuce is barely covered and simmer gently for 10 minutes
6
Roughly chop the remaining dill fronds and add to the soup, along with the cream and lemon juice
7
I rather enjoy eating the soup just like this because I like the slurpy, sloppy nature of the cooked lettuce. If you find this texture a bit challenging, then by all means do liquidise the soup so that you have a silky-smooth texture. The result will be a lovely pale green speckled soup
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