It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. — M. F. K. Fisher, The Art of Eating

Nourishing Green Soup & Motorboating

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imageGreen Soup MotorboatingGreen Soup SpinachGreen Soup KaleGreen Soup Starter
Nourishing Green Soup & Motorboating
by K.C. Pomering, Posted February 28th, 2013 at 4:34 am

For the last few weeks, it seemed like all anybody could say to me was “Green Soup.” I got 4 emails about green soup – did I make green soup, have I tried green soup, do I have a great recipe for green soup?

No to all. Because I was pretty sure green soup was gonna taste like hell. (FYI: it was an educated guess, as I actively dislike cabbage soup, so I convinced myself that green soup was gonna give me scary Willy Wonka flashbacks, too.)

Somebody asked me about it in a meeting, somebody asked me about it in line at Whole Foods. My mother, Saint Joanie, read an article about it Reader’s Digest & tore it out for me.

By the time my doctor brought up green soup after telling me my vitamin levels were low, I decided the Universe was probably sending me some kind of plant-based message. So I went home & looked in my fridge. (Fortunately, I had just been to the store.)

I threw 2 carrots, a leek, and some garlic in a pot over medium heat with olive oil. I used orange-infused olive oil because I had it and I think citrus brightens up leafy green vegetables.

Then I threw in a bag of washed & chopped kale. I don’t know why I keep buying that stuff, I spent the next four minutes pulling pieces of kale rib out of a pot of steaming vegetables. If you try this, buy a bunch of kale and trim it yourself. The kale had shredded carrots and a little bit of purple cabbage in it, so that went in the pot, too.

That’s a bag of baby spinach. I added kosher salt & black pepper at this point, and spent the next couple of minutes pulling out all the sizable spinach stems. I cooked everything until the leaves were pretty well wilted, and dug through my freezer to find some green peas (I used about 8oz) and I grabbed some broccoli I had steamed the night before, probably about one head’s worth.

I added another pinch of Kosher Salt & some pepper, and about 4 cups of chicken stock. Then I grabbed my Motorboat. (You can call it a stick blender at your house, I won’t judge you.)

Here’s the thing about my Motorboat. I didn’t want it. I thought it was dumb. I’d see Emeril grabbing his “motorboat” on TV, sticking it in pots of gravy or soup, and I’d think: “that’s some lazy crap, right there. He has a food processor & a blender, he needs that too? It can’t possibly get things super-smooth either.” I was so high-and-mighty on my Alton-Brown-No-Unitaskers soap box, you could’ve seen up my nose, and I’m 5’3. But I was so, so wrong, and I try to admit my mistakes. Don’t even get me started on how much easier it is to clean than a food processor, or the challenges of pouring hot soup in & out of a blender.

Emeril, I misjudged you. And I’m sorry.

So, I pureed the green soup, staring at it skeptically the whole time. That little bit of purple cabbage did not help the color. I tasted it – not too bad, a bit more salt, a dash of pepper, it needs a little something still – half a cup of orange juice. Motorboat again.

OK, moment of truth. I ladled it out, and threw some Cowgirl Creamery Fromage Blanc on top, since that makes just about anything better.

I’ve gotta admit, I was wrong again. This Green Soup is good.

So, I did what any self-respecting cook would do, I waited for the 9-year-old food critic I live with to get home. (I should add that Sam likes broccoli, corn & cherry tomatoes, and will only otherwise eat vegetables if they’re served with cheese or bacon, or under threat of dessert loss.) So, I served her up some soup, and told her I made it with broccoli.

I swear, on Saint Joanie’s good name, that the kid said: “Mom, this is pretty good.”
Wait until next time, when I make it without cabbage.

Green Soup on, citizens.


Great story! I was intrigued by the use of motorboat in the title and now I completely get it. They are a great tool for making soups, or helping to emulsify something that you just can’t whisk fast enough for.

by Nathan Copeland, Posted March 1, 2013 at 8:56 pm

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