Quick lettuce soup

Lettuce soup

It was buy one, get one free at the organic supermarket in Bristol.

The Better Food assistant pointed out the bargain gem lettuces, fresh from the company’s Walled Garden.

I thought: oat-thickened lettuce soup. The perfect opportunity to share the quickest healthy-soup recipe I know. You basically boil water with butter, add oats to thicken and then the lettuce which takes seconds to cook.

Boil 1 pint of water with 1 ounce (30g) of butter. Add 1 ounce of rolled oats. Bring the water, butter and oats to the boil. Simmer for five minutes to cook the oats. Add a lettuce, chopped. Season with lots of black pepper but a little salt. Turn off the heat after several minutes as lettuce cooks quickly. And will carry on cooking in the water.

I think blending this soup makes it more unctious. I blended mine (see pic).

I came across it the other day. My mother was cooking it when I got back from the Guild of Food Writers Awards. Appropriately, the recipe came from the pen of one of our best food writers, the late Jane Grigson (mother of Sophie).

I love Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book, which has recipes for every veg from artichoke to yam. My mum made hers with spinach, but the Grigson original is Irish Nettle Pottage.

I have had this book since 1980 so why, oh why, did I not think to delve in, in my nettle-soup phase?

On the subject of mistakes, I broke one glass within ten minutes of leaving the charity shop with five (for a fiver). When I photographed the damage, it had beauty (see below).

I feel a moral coming on.

Mistakes are like jewels in the crown because we can learn from them.

Broken wine glass

4 responses to “Quick lettuce soup

  1. I love the fact you photographed a broken glass – as well as giving us tips for the lettuce leaves which are running riot in our vegetable patch. Delicious combination!


  2. I drank my lettuce soup and then logged onto your blog to find this!
    Here is my recipe:
    Lettuce, cucumbers, broth, hemp milk (can you get the latter in the UK? It’s wonderful, and one feels very vindicated buying it, given the stupid laws against growing the green form of this plant in the US.)
    I’m afraid I’m off soy milk. The taste is awful, in my view, and it’s getting a bad GM rep.


  3. Soya is one of the main GM crops which is why it is so important to make sure your soya milk is organic. It’s also important to vary plant milks, and not just drink soya (albeit organic). So use rice milk or almond milk too. Hemp milk sounds wonderful and does not Yaoh offer a Hemp Milk maker. Stop press: UK’s wonderful Hemp Shop http://www.thehempshop.co.uk/ has told me: “It is legal to grow hemp in the UK for food and fibre, but it is not legal in the US. Sadly Yaoh have discontinued their Milk Maker and having spoken to them recently about it, they will not be re-introducing it. There is Hemp Milk available in the US and Canada, but the manufacturers cannot bring it into Europe as the shipping costs are too high. The Hemp Shop will be selling a Hemp and Soya milk sometime soon.”


  4. All forms of hemp can be grown in the UK with a license that is issued by Defra in conjunction with the Home Office.


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