I first learned about Love Soup about 7 years ago while just doing an internet search for healthy soups. I was working as a health and wellness director and I put together a monthly newsletter that included recipes. This soup is adapted from Anna Thomas’ Green Love Soup which is the one that started it all! Every January I would present a slightly different version of this amazing, cleansing, fresh start soup. Why stop now?
This soup is not very appealing to look at. Patrick (my hubby) looks at it each time and groans! Then he says some version of the same thing each year, “Wow, this is surprisingly good!” So, please don’t let appearances keep you from trying this soup. It is truly delicious and a great way to use up greens from the fridge. Slow-cooked, sweet, caramelized aromatics contribute tons of flavor and balance out any bitterness from the greens. A small amount of starch (potato, rice, stale bread or nuts) gets blended into the soup to make it thick and creamy without any cream. And finally, a dose of hot pepper (optional of course!) and a squeeze of lemon or lime really punch up the flavor!
As you will see, I am basically just giving you a template with many options here. Feel free to follow exactly what I did, or make it your own with what you have in the house. No rules! It would be hard to mess this up!
So, if you’d like to have that glowing, life is good and I’m ready to rock it feeling that emanates from your belly after you eat something light and healthy, this soup is a must! This soup is just healthy sexy good – if you know what I mean! Have fun with it! And then feel free to have some fun after because you will feel great!
Goddess Love Soup
- 1-2 tsp whole cumin seeds (you can use ground if that’s all you have)
- 1-2 tsp whole coriander (ground is an option)
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided (coconut oil, avocado oil, butter, etc)
- 1 med-large yellow onion, thinly sliced optional other aromatics to add: 3-5 garlic cloves, fresh fennel, fresh chili peppers of choice, peeled and minced ginger
- 1 med zucchini, chopped (I also added 1 yellow carrot and 1 parsnip because they needed to be used. This recipe is so flexible)
- 5-6 cups chopped greens (chard, spinach, kale, collard greens, etc.)
- 1 cup loosely packed herbs (parsley, basil, thyme, cilantro, tarragon, oregano – whatever you have or like)
- 1 tsp sea salt plus more to taste
- 1/4 cup Marsala or dry sherry (optional)
- 2 cups water
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups vegetable broth (can use just water if you like)
- 1-2 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cooked and chopped (other options: ½ cup cooked white rice, 1 cup torn stale bread, or ½ cup soaked raw cashews)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 tsp ground chili powder, to taste (options: cayenne, paprika, ancho, habanero)
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste (or lime juice or your favorite vinegar)
- Heat a large, heavy pot over medium heat (I used my Dutch oven). Add the cumin and coriander seeds and toast in the dry pot until fragrant, about 1 minute. If you are using ground spices, this will be a faster process. Don’t let them burn. Remove the spices from the pot, cool and grind seeds to a powder. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, chop the onion (and any other aromatics you are adding), heat a tablespoon of olive oil in the same pot, and cook the onion/aromatics with a small sprinkle of salt over medium-low heat until it is golden brown and soft. This will take up to half an hour. Don’t hurry; give it a stir once in a while, and let the slow cooking develop the onion’s sweetness.
- Add the zucchini and any other vegetables you are adding and sauté until slightly soft and light brown. If you like, you can deglaze the pan at the end with a bit of Marsala or sherry — not required, but a nice touch.
- Wash the greens and herbs thoroughly. Chop and use all of the herb parts, but for the greens, cut off any tough stems or veins and chop leaves. Drop into the pot with your other vegetables. Add water, vegetable broth (or more water) and a teaspoon of salt. Let simmer for about 20-30 minutes.
- If needed, add enough additional broth (or water) to make the soup liquidy (I like to make up words!). Ladle 1-2 cups of the broth into a blender or processor and add your cooked potatoes (or other starch) and blend until smooth. Add back to soup pot.
- Cook for another 5-10 minutes then puree the soup in the blender, in batches, or use an immersion blender. Don’t over process if using potatoes, they can turn gummy it you work them too much.
- Return the soup to the pot, bring it back to a simmer, and taste. Add a pinch more salt if needed, grind in some black pepper, and add the cayenne, if using, and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir well and taste again. Correct the seasoning to your taste with a bit more lemon juice, more hot pepper or another pinch of salt! Serve up your big steaming bowls of green soup.
- Garnish with your choice of textures and flavors. Some suggestions:Toasted chickpeasHard-cooked egg, choppedToasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), pine nuts, sesame seeds, chopped peanuts, almonds or cashewsPomegranate seedsA dollop of sour cream or coconut creamChopped herbs (thyme, basil, cilantro, parsley)Diced peppers, sweet or hot (bell, jalapeno, serrano, habanero, crushed red)A sprinkle of ground spice (I’m a spice freak so I used fenugreek, paprika, cayenne, ancho chili) – proceed at your own risk!A thin drizzle of fruity olive oil.