Lettuce Soup (Vegan or VGT)

TooManyVeggiesOh, it’s been a long time indeed. So long that you surely find yourself with a refrigerator full of greens and no humanly possible way to consume them before they plummet southward. That is why I have invented the Kitchen Cleanup Soup, aka Lettuce Soup, aka Random Greens Soup, and plenty of other things we could call it. Be honest, how many times have you found yourself with way too many seemingly unrelated greens on your hands and no good plan for how to  quickly and easily use them all together? Broccoli, asparagus, kale, kohlrabi, romaine – how can we unite them with one minimal, all encompassing effort? This soup is the perfect answer to that dilemma.


This is a lovely, light summer soup, a tasty and comforting autumn soup, a crisp and energizing spring soup, and basically an all-around all purpose soup that you can make in a huge batch and then freeze for a rainy day. It’s super easy, but it does take some time, though it is mostly passive time, letting the soup simmer away covered on the stovetop. Also, I hope you have a gigantic pot. Otherwise, queue the “we’re going to need a bigger boat” jokes.

So many things can go in this soup, but here’s what I happened to toss together today.


  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • ½ lb assorted leafy greens, including kohlrabi, kale, chard, arugula (random stuff we picked at the u-pick farm without a specific plan – never a good idea, btw)
  • 1 large russet potato, chopped
  • 1lb asparagus, cut in 1inch pieces (tips reserved)
  • 4-6 cups soup stock (how much you need depends on your volume of veggies – should just cover the veggies in the pot but not so much that they’re drowned)
  • Cream to taste – either vegan sour cream or heavy cream of your choice
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • White pepper to taste
  • Reserved steamed asparagus tips (as garnish)
  • Parsley as garnish
  • 2 tbsp butter or olive oil for cooking

The easiest way to think of preparation is to break it down in three key steps:

    1. Creating the base. In a large dutch oven on medium heat, heat the oil or butter. Start by sauteeing the mirepoix (carrots, celery, onion, optional garlic if you swing that way). When everything is softened and it smells awesome, you’re ready to move to step two.
    2. Making the soup. Add the soup stock and all the other vegetables and seasonings, except for garnishing vegetables and cream (eg, asparagus tips, parsley, cream – those go in at step 3). Bring everything to a boil, then reduce to simmer, stirring often, for 20-40 minutes (basically until you’re firmest vegetables are tender – if you’re including potatoes, they will take the longest).
    3. Finishing touches. This is where you will adjust the seasonings and stir in the cream. When the soup is done, ladle into bowls with a dollop of cream, parsley, and a handful of steamed asparagus as garnish. I also like to serve it with a crusty baguette and/or a side of rice.






Creamy Asparagus Soup (Vegan)


This is the dawning of the age of asparagus.

Here’s how this soup happened. We were at the farmer’s market, and J was like “Ooooh, asparagus. Should we buy some?” And I was like, “Um, really? Uh, suuuure … I’ll use it to make asparagus soup.” And J said, “Great. What else do we need for asparagus soup?” And I said “OH, nothing.”

Which I knew probably wasn’t true, because I had no idea how to make asparagus soup. But for some reason I had a totally irrational moment where I thought that if J knew I had no idea how to make asparagus soup then he would try to stop me from making it. Which he never would have done. I have no idea what got into me. It was like I was momentarily possessed by the spirit of my 5-year-old self. And then I found myself in the situation where I had to figure out how to make it. So I spent a sizable chunk of time reading asparagus soup recipes and eventually concluded that I was pretty much on my own. Basically they just all seemed really boring and not what I wanted. Worse still, they all called for making a soy milk roux, and you know how I feel about making roux with soy milk (soy milk + flour + oil = liquid chalk). So, I made up my own. It’s kind of a hashing together of a few recipes with variations based on my personal preferences. Here it is. J and I both loved it.

Creamy Asparagus Soup

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped (including leaves)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 medium-sized potato, thinly sliced
  • 2 c vegetable stock (for this one I used a parsley-based stock)
  • 2 c water
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp fresh dill, minced
  • 1 – 2 tsp white pepper, to taste (possibly more if you love white pepper as much as I do)
  • Tofutti sour cream to taste

First, prepare the asparagus by breaking off the rough ends. You can do this by holding the very end in your fingertips and bending the rest of the stalk until it snaps. The rough portion should break naturally at the place where it’s supposed to, usually around an inch or so from the end. (Thanks to J for this tip!)

After breaking off all the ends, slice off the tips of each stalk (usually about an inch or so) and reserve for later. Take the remaining stalks and slice them in approximately 1 inch pieces.

In a large Dutch oven or stockpot on medium heat, heat the 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the celery, potato, asparagus stalks (not tips) and salt. Toss in oil and saute for ~5 – 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring regularly. Add stock and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, semi-cover and cook for around 5 – 10 minutes, until a knife easily penetrates vegetables (timing depends on size of your veggies and how tender they were after sauteing).

In the meantime, steam the tips for about 5 – 8 minutes, or until tender.

After the soup is done simmering, puree it in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pot on very low heat and add the steamed asparagus tips. Cook a little bit longer (~2 minutes) but be very careful not to overcook or let the soup boil.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with a dollop or two of sour cream and sprinkling of dill. Serve immediately.