Tag Archives: greens

Greens Soup

Recently on the radio I heard cookbook author Anna Thomas talking about soup, and approximately five seconds after she described her Green Soup, I wanted it. It’s the perfect time of year for greens and onions (the other main ingredient in the soup), and utilizing them both in a soup sounded like a perfect way to spend a slightly chilly afternoon. Not that it is chilly in Austin these days, but those greens won’t eat themselves!

Greens soup

It’s not exactly photogenic, but trust me on this one. A great thing about this soup is that you can use virtually any kind of green you might have on hand, because even the most bitter greens will be balanced by the sweetness of the caramelized onions. I like the tang brought in by the yogurt, though you can certainly leave that out if you prefer. Serve with pita chips or wonton crisps for a bit of crunch.

Greens Soup
adapted from Anna Thomas
serves 8

Olive oil
3 medium yellow onions, sliced
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
4 cups vegetable stock
3-4 bunches assorted greens, such as mustard, komatsuna, mizuna, beet greens, kale, or chard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat a swirl of olive oil over medium. Add onions mushrooms and stir to coat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until onions take on a nice brown color, approximately 30 minutes.
Add stock and increase heat to just bubbling. Wash and chop greens and add to the soup. Reduce heat to medium and cover soup. Let cook until greens have wilted, about 10 minutes.
Puree soup and return to heat. Stir in paprika, yogurt, and lemon juice, then season to taste. Alternatively, you can leave the yogurt out until just before serving, and then add a swirl into individual bowls.

Five Ingredient Breakfast Casserole

Happy New Year! It’s the second Meatless Monday of 2012, and we’re continuing our series of super-easy vegetarian recipes for January.

My family loves “breakfast for dinner” once in a while, and this quick and easy breakfast casserole is on heavy rotation at my house.  Leafy greens, local eggs,  and fresh potatoes make this casserole much healthier than your typical cheese-laden hashbrown supper, and it’s very quick to put together.  It makes a ton of leftovers, too– perfect for breakfasts later in the week!

One thing that really helps with all the chopping in this (and most any) vegetarian supper is a food processor. I used both attachments that came with my machine to prepare this dinner, and the whole thing came together in about 10 minutes of hands-on time.


Slicing Disk

Chopping Blade

If you don’t have a food processor, plan to add about 10 minutes to the prep time for chopping, whisking, and slicing.

Five Ingredient Breakfast Casserole (serves 18-24)

1 yellow onion
1.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes (about 5 medium potatoes)
1 bunch tender greens, stems removed
18 eggs
2 cups milk or plain soymilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9×13 casserole dish.

Wash the potatoes and tender greens and pat dry. Peel the onion and chop it into quarters. Chop the potatoes into quarters. Slice the potatoes and onion very thinly by feeding them through a food processor fitted with the slicing disk. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add potatoes and onion to the skillet and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While potatoes and onions are cooking, fit the food processor with the chopping blade and finely chop the greens. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs with the milk. (The chopping blade of the food processor is perfect for this, too, if you have a large enough machine. Watch out, though– overfilling the bowl of the food processor makes a big, egg-y mess.)

Once potatoes and onions are softened, place them in an even layer in the prepared casserole dish. Top with the chopped greens. Pour the egg mixture over the top of the casserole. Bake for 40 minutes, until the middle of the casserole is set and the edges are golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Butternut Squash Walnut Pasta

The mix of summer and fall vegetables we’ve been getting in the Local Box has been wrecking havoc on my meal-planning skills. For the life of me I can’t figure out how I would pair apples and okra. But that’s OK – just the sight of those hard winter squash turn me gleeful in the kitchen.

Growing up in the cold, cold north makes me a bit nostalgic for true autumn every time October rolls around. Since we finally got a bit of chill in the air I took the opportunity to put together a comforting meal.

butternut walnut pasta

I roast the squash and onions in the oven for a bit to really bring out the sweetness, but if you prefer you can boil the squash until tender.

Butternut Squash Walnut Pasta
Serves 4

1 medium butternut squash
1/2 cup chopped onion
Olive oil
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
Dash nutmeg
2 cups sweet potato greens, washed and torn into pieces
Salt and pepper
8 ounces orecchiette pasta

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel butternut squash and dice into 1/2-inch chunks. Toss squash and onions with a drizzle of olive oil, then spread on a cookie sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes.
Cook pasta according to directions on package. Reserve approximately 1/2 cup of pasta water.
While pasta is cooking, heat a large saucepan over medium. Add a swirl of olive oil, and once heated through, add walnuts and cook for about 5 minutes. Add squash and onions, and stir in nutmeg.
Add stock and reduce heat to medium-low. Place sweet potato greens on top and cover saucepan. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, until greens are wilted.
Add the orecchiette and reserved water. Stir through and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Fennel Potato Soup with Turnip Greens

This soup is not what I intended to make for dinner last night. My regularly scheduled menu was interrupted last week when my sister had a beautiful baby girl! My niece’s name is Ella, and the past few days have been completely absorbed by this new little member of our family. Thanks to Ella’s arrival, we ended up eating out for dinner on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights with family.  I’m not complaining– how could I when I look at a face like Ella’s?– but I do have a lot of leftover produce in my fridge. Four meals’ worth, to be exact! Plus, heavy restaurant meals will make anyone feel bloated.

In order to knock out a lot of veggies and help my poor stomach, I turned to this Potato-Fennel soup recipe from the Mayo Clinic Foundation for Medical Education and Research. I knew the potatoes would give the soup a mild flavor, and fennel is supposed to be great for digestion.

I adapted the Mayo Clinic’s recipe by incorporating turnip greens and radish tops into the soup, and by increasing the liquid in the recipe accordingly.  And since I had just one half-pound bulb of fennel on hand, that’s all we used. (I couldn’t taste it a bit in the final dish.) I happened to have radish tops and turnip greens in my fridge today, but any cruciferous dark green would work well here.  However, I would avoid would be mustard greens; their spiciness would probably overpower the delicate balance of flavors in this soup.

All weekend I’ve been imagining what kinds of food Ella will enjoy as she gets older.  Maybe she will grow up to be the next Michael Pollan. Or a great chef. Whatever happens, I hope that some day I can make her a big steamy bowl of this fennel soup and tell her all about the Thursday night that she was born!

Fennel Potato Soup with Turnip Greens (4 large servings)
adapted from the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 cups chopped dark greens, such as turnip, arugula, radish, spinach, or kale
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper
Sour cream for garnish
Fennel fronds for garnish

Chop the onion and fennel bulb*. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and fennel. Saute until the onion is translucent and the fennel begins to soften, about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, peel and chop potatoes and wash and chop greens.  Add potatoes and greens to the pot, along with the broth and milk.  Bring the soup to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Taste and season accordingly. Ladle into bowls, garnish with fennel fronds, sour cream, and additional pepper.

*If you’re new to fennel (anise), like me, it can be tricky to know how to cut the bulb open. Here’s a great video with instructions:

Click here for a printable copy of this recipe.

How to Cook Winter Greens

If you’ve seen the Greenling newsletter this week, you know that we’re celebrating a great season of greens! Winter is prime time in Texas for kale, spinach, curly mustard, collards, arugula, bok choy, and lots of other leafy vegetables. These nutritional powerhouses are fun to cook with and easy to include in meals, either as main dishes or as sides.

The guide below gives some basic cooking methods for greens, plus suggestions as to which vegetables are best suited for those methods:

Greenling’s Cooking Guide to Greens

Of course, a great way to enjoy greens is on their own, either as a side dish or an entrée.  The chart above can help you to incorporate greens into some familiar recipes. Simply match the cooking style of your existing recipe to one of the greens you have on hand. For example, if you’re making scrambled eggs, any of the greens in the “sauté” column will make a great addition: sauté a 1/2 cup of finely chopped greens in a skillet, then add two eggs and cook them as usual.

Add any greens from the “boil” column to comforting dishes like this chicken noodle or tortilla soup for a painless extra serving of veggies with lunch or dinner. Same goes for the greens in the braised column. During the last 10-20 minutes of cooking, throw in a few cups of chopped beet greens, chard, kale or spinach to your favorite braised bratwurst, tofu, or chicken recipes, and you’ve got an instant, one-dish meal.

The biggest secret to cooking with greens is to use the freshest ones you can. Fresh greens from a local farm are more nutritious and taste better than greens that have flown across the country before sitting on a grocery store shelf all week.

It’s also important to choose organic greens, since conventionally grown greens like spinach, lettuce and kale carry high levels of pesticide residue, even after washing.  Give your family a green challenge this week and try to include leafy vegetables in as many meals as you can.  Your taste buds– and your local farmers– will thank you!

Local Box Meal Plan for May 18-22

Hi all! Woman With a Whisk here. I’ve been a huge supporter of Greenling and their Local Boxes for a few months now, and I’ve been blogging how I’ve cooked out of my Local Boxes since then. Hopefully, I can share some interesting ways to use the produce that comes to us each week, and I expect to learn new things from you also!

Each week, I’ve been making a meal plan to figure out how best to use the Local Box contents. I find that without planning, it’s hard to use some of the more esoteric items before they spoil. Besides, I get a huge kick trying to use as many local ingredients/Local Box produce as possible in one meal. Don’t we all?

So without further ado, this week’s meal plan. In the current Local Box: blackberries, golden zucchini, green beans, dandelion greens, carrots, red spring onion, mangoes, beets, and red potatoes. Where I’m using recipes, I’ll link to them. Otherwise, the recipes are either in my head (waiting to be blogged!) or are common enough that you may have your own.

This week, I’m planning on making:


  • Blackberry pancakes (though this verrine would make a wonderful dessert for a special occasion or dinner party)


  • Zucchini cakes
  • Sauteed green beans tossed with soy sauce and sesame oil
  • Roasted red potatoes with rosemary


  • Dandelion greens salad with roasted beets, goat cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette (I’ll roast the beets and potatoes in the same pan the night before, then peel and cut up the beets when they’re cool for lunch the following day)


  • Slow-cooker goat stew (made just like a basic beef stew) with carrots and red onions
  • Ginger chicken stir-fry with mango chutney and red onion tops

If my husband would go anywhere near it (he hates mussels), I would make mussels with dandelion greens and linguini for dinner. Mmmmm. This recipe uses beer instead of white wine, which is an interesting twist on the usual.

Edited on 5/19: The Local Box video for this week is on Facebook here (you don’t need to be a Facebook member to check it out!). Turns out that we’re not getting red potatoes, but we are getting broccoli and swiss chard or red leaf lettuce. I’ll still roast the broccoli with the beets, and maybe wilt the swiss chard or use the lettuce to make lettuce wraps (since I’d also like to make dumplings this week!). Have fun!

Local Box, 04.01.2009


The usual suspects arrived in today’s Local Box. More strawberries we’ll use for fresh eating, lovely greens for any number of dishes, and some lovely purple kohlrabi I’m eager to experiment with further.

How do you plan to eat out of your Local Box this week?