I have this cold that I can’t seem to beat. It’s really frustrating, not only because being sick is the worst but because I’m extremely impatient. I just want to feel better, already.
That’s where this greens and garlic soup comes into play. I made it a few nights ago for dinner when I felt my symptoms getting worse. It’s full of things that are good for you in general but also good for you when you have a cold: hearty greens, eggs, lemon, and loads of garlic.
I’m not a garlic person but this soup made me a garlic believer. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t taste most of the garlic but it was actually pretty subtle. It paired well with the greens, eggs, and citrus.
The weirdest part about this soup is that it doesn’t call for broth. I’m used to making soups where I pour in a box or two of chicken broth but that’s not the case here. You make the broth by infusing water with greens, garlic, and lemons. You might not think that the resulting mixture would be good but it is.
You also might be tempted to skip the garlic croutons on top but DO NOT skip this step. The croutons make the soup. They’re crunchy, garlicky, fragrant, and perfectly browned. Sprinkle a little shredded Parm on top and it will melt over the croutons, creating something akin to French onion soup.
So yeah. If you’re feeling like all you want to do is curl up in the fetal position in bed with bottomless cups of tea and tissues, make this soup. Even if you’re feeling great but it’s getting cold outside, make this soup. It’s hearty and warming. It can handle your cold even if you can’t.
Here’s a song to get you started.
Hearty Greens and Garlic Soup
for the soup:
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 leeks, cut in half lengthwise, rinsed, drained on paper towels, and then sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, sliced
6 cups chopped Swiss or rainbow chard leaves
black pepper, to taste
2 large eggs, beaten in a small bowl
juice of half a lemon
grated Parmesan, for serving
for the croutons:
4 thick slices country bread, cut into small cubes
extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic in its shell
First, make the croutons. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the bread cubes with a drizzle of olive oil and a generous sprinkle of salt. Spread the cubes into an even layer. Place the clove of garlic in its shell in a corner on the baking sheet. Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes or until they’re golden brown. Let the cubes cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack. Rub with the roasted garlic. Sprinkle with a little more salt.
To make the soup, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium heat. Add the leeks and stir until they’re tender, about three to five minutes. Add the garlic and half a teaspoon of salt. Stir for a minute until the garlic is fragrant. Stir in the greens until the leaves start to wilt. Add the water and salt to taste, and then bring the mixture to a simmer. Partially cover with a lid and allow the mixture to simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the greens are very tender and the broth is slightly sweet. When it’s done, taste and add ground pepper and more salt if needed.
Remove the pot from heat. Take a ladle of soup and mix it into the beaten eggs. Then pour the eggs into the soup and stir. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon.
Serve the soup with the croutons and a sprinkle of shredded Parm. Enjoy!