Last week, I showed you how to use large quantities of fresh CSA and farmers’ market herbs to make a refreshing pitcher of Sparkling Dill Lemonade. This week, we’re turning that same bundle of herbs into something warm, delicious, and soul-soothing: Herb Soup.
You’ve probably eaten soup with fresh herbs in it, but have you eaten Herb Soup with eight cups (I repeat: eight cups) of fresh herbs in it? Until I tried this recipe, lightly adapted from Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal, I certainly hadn’t. I had all of the same thoughts that you’re probably having right this very moment. That’s too many herbs. Is that a typo? Am I going to spend thirty minutes and a few really good ingredients making this soup, only to find that it tastes like a bar of soap? I think I have to make this Herb Soup just to find out what a soup made up of eight cups of herbs tastes like. Sound about right? Well, I’m happy to report that I did make the soup and it was, in fact, utterly and surprisingly delicious.
When I made this Herb Soup, I happened to have on hand one large bundle of dill (despite my attempts to make it all disappear into a glass of lemonade), a large bundle of cilantro, and a good amount of fresh parsley. So, I used a combination of all three herbs to piece together the eight cups (I repeat: eight cups) of fresh herbs needed for this soup. However, you certainly don’t have to do that. You can use eight cups of cilantro, dill, chives, parsley, and even basil in the summer months. You can even mellow out the herb flavors with a few handfuls of dark greens in place of some of the herbs.
Whichever herbs and greens you choose to use in your version of Herb Soup will ultimately leave you with a big pot of bright green soup that is somehow light, fresh, and rich all at the same time. Squeeze a little lemon juice over each bowl just before serving, and don’t forget the crusty bread–it’s perfect for sopping up every last drop of this wonderful soup.