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Categories: Mains, Quick and Easy, Soups

Spring soup of greens and pasta

Spring soup of greens and pasta
Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

"It seemed like a good idea at the time" may well be the sorriest phrase in the English language and, perhaps, the most common. I know I contributed at least a couple of dozen repetitions all by myself the other ... Read more

Total time: 40 minutes | Serves 6
Note: The mixed leafy greens can include mustard, kale, collard, beet and turnip greens, chard as well as dandelions. (Watch the dandelions as too many might make the soup bitter.) One-half pound yields 8 cups coarsely chopped.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound mixed leafy greens, stemmed and coarsely chopped (about 8 cups)
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock diluted with 3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt, more to taste
  • 3/4 cup small pasta shapes (such as riso or stars), or 1 cup cooked rice
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar, more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground fennel seed
  • 6 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Step 1Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart soup pot over medium heat and cook the onions until they soften, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the coarsely chopped greens to the pot, a handful at a time, and let them wilt, stirring constantly.

Step 2Add the diluted stock and the salt and slowly bring to a simmer, then cook until the greens are soft (but not darkened or faded), about 10 minutes.

Step 3While the greens are cooking, cook the pasta in a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside until the soup is done.

Step 4Coarsely shred the greens with an immersion blender. Some will become pureed, but mostly they should be shredded. If you don't have an immersion blender, a food processor will do a better job than a stand blender. Transfer half the greens and liquid to a food processor and carefully puree until the greens are finely chopped. Reserve in a mixing bowl and repeat with the remaining greens and liquid. Wipe out the soup pot and return the greens and liquid to it.

Step 5Bring the soup to a simmer, and stir in the cooked pasta and 1 teaspoon vinegar. If the pasta clumps together (it probably will), let it warm and stir it again to break it up. Season with the pepper and the fennel seed. Taste, and add more salt or vinegar if needed.

Step 6To serve, ladle the soup into heated shallow bowls and garnish with a generous grating of Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Each serving:
192 calories; 5 grams protein; 28 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 6 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 4 mg. cholesterol; 890 mg. sodium.
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