Super green soup

3 Flares 3 Flares ×


The American poet, William Matthews, once began a poem with the lines: “How easily happiness begins by / dicing onions.”

Have truer words ever been spoken?

I’ve been feeling a little . . . cranky lately. I sprained my ankle a couple weeks ago, and it’s left me unable to work since — surprise! — a hobbling server isn’t an exceptionally useful server. It’s actually my second sprained ankle this winter, which is the universe’s way of letting me know I have the dainty ankles of a Victorian lady. A sickly one.

Anyway, the ankle had me doddering around the house muttering the word “stupid” at the objects that get in my way (i.e. all objects) and watching back-to-back episodes of “Say Yes to the Dress.” Friends, it was a downward spiral to say the least. And then, one day, Alan did something to the TV cable and suddenly the television didn’t work and after I had a miniature panic attack about it, I remembered that there was this thing called my life. And that I should probably try to get back to it.

I was in the mood for something comforting, and remembered the suuuuuper (souper?) green soup I’d made for a Varsity feature last year, and decided to do a take on that. The soup is really easy, and tastes especially delicious if you use your own vegetable bouillon to make the broth, or top it with mushroom walnut gremolata.

As soon as I started slicing the onions, I fell back into the familiar rhythms of the kitchen that seem to come from somewhere much older than myself.  And by the time I had the onions caramelizing in the oil, I was smiling again.

From Matthews again:

      This is the best domestic perfume.
      You sit down to eat with a rumor
      of onions still on your twice-washed
      hands and lift to your mouth a hint
      of a story about loam and usual


Super green soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6 bowls of soup


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for garnish
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped into crescents
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup arborio rice
  • 1 large bunch chard (about 4 cups, packed), de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 large bunch green or black kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or more to taste
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • plain yoghurt for garnish (optional)
  • mushroom and walnut gremolata for garnish (optional but fantastic)


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add chopped onions; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about five minutes. Reduce the heat to low, and cover. Leave to cook, covering the pan again, and stirring occasionally, until the onions are greatly reduced and have a deep caramel colour, 25 to 30 minutes.*
  2. When the onions are caramelized, increase the heat to medium, add the garlic and the 1/3 cup arborio rice to the pan and stir for a minute, taking care not to burn the onions. Add the chard and kale and the broth. Stir for a minute or two while the greens cook down. Stir together and bring the mixture to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Allow the soup to cool slightly, then purée until smooth with an immersion blender, a food processor, or a regular blender. Stir in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, or more to taste. Most broths are quite salty, so you might not need to add any salt, but feel free to do so to taste, plus a few cranks of pepper. Garnish each bowl of soup with a drizzle of olive oil, or a dollop of plain yoghurt, or your garnish of choice.

*While the onions are reducing, they don’t need constant attention, so feel free to prep your greens, check your email, or do your dishes at the same time.


3 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Pin It Share 3 Google+ 0 Email -- Reddit 0 StumbleUpon 0 LinkedIn 0 3 Flares ×

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No comments yet