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.






Broccoli Leek Soup (Vegan)

I freely and shamelessly admit to you, this shiz is a straight-up Billy Sonoma ripoff. You see, they have this beautiful, delicate soup that is rendered unnecessarily non-vegetarian by the totally extraneous placement of chicken stock rather than vegetable stock. That being the case, I fully admit that my adaptation of replacing the chicken with veg stock is not particularly cunning. But the recipe is so thoroughly lovely and simple that I feel it warrants a bit of pomp and circumstance. Tah-dah!!!!

Courtesy of Billy Sonoma

You'll wish you made more.

Broccoli Leek Soup (adaptation from Williams-Sonoma*)

  • 23 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, including tender green portions,
    rinsed well and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb broccoli, trimmed, florets and stalks
    cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Tofutti sour cream
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives
Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute until softened, 3 – 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and saute, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, about 2 – 3 minutes more.Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. 

In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches until smooth and return the soup to the pan. (Alternatively, process with a stick blender in the pan until smooth. Reheat the soup gently over medium heat. Season with salt and white pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with the sour cream and chives. Serve immediately.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma*


*If you’re wondering why I keep repeating the point, it’s because I don’t want them to sue my ash. Not that they would ever notice me in the first place. But you never know.