In France this simple, nutritious soup is made with wild greens that you might forage on an afternoon’s walk, such as nettles, watercress and dandelion greens. If you must use one green, I recommend Swiss chard.
Recipes for Health
This series offers recipes with an eye towards empowering you to cook healthy meals every day. Produce, seasonal and locally grown when possible, and a well-stocked pantry are the linchpins of a good diet, and accordingly, each week’s recipes will revolve around a particular type of produce or a pantry item. This is food that is vibrant and light, full of nutrients but by no means ascetic, fun to cook and a pleasure to eat.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 leeks, cut in half length-wise, sliced, rinsed of dirt and drained on paper towels
4 garlic cloves, sliced
6 cups chopped greens (leaves only), such as Swiss chard, dandelion greens, watercress and beet greens
1 1/2 quarts water
Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 large eggs
4 thick slices country bread, toasted and rubbed with a cut clove of garlic
Grated Parmesan for serving (optional)
1. Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat, and add the leeks. Cook, stirring, until tender, three to five minutes. Add the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, about one minute. Add the greens, and stir until they begin to wilt. Add the water and salt to taste, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the greens are very tender and the broth sweet. Add pepper, and taste and adjust seasoning.
2. Beat the eggs in a bowl. Making sure that the soup is not boiling, whisk a ladle of it into the beaten eggs. Take the soup off the heat, and stir in the tempered eggs. Brush the garlic croutons with olive oil, and place one or two in each bowl. Ladle in the soup, sprinkle on some Parmesan if desired and serve.
Yield: Serves four
Advance preparation: You can make the soup through step 1 several hours before serving.