Abundant lettuce exploded all over my garden as the spring air warmed the shivering winter earth & before long a couple decided to bolt skyward adorning their heads with a tiara of tiny lettuce flowers. The bitterness had crept into their luscious leaves & I was about to pull them out roots & all to fertilize my compost heap…when a friend shared this useful tip to remove the bitterness and make them sweet again:
- 2 large heads of lettuce
- 2 large leeks
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche or Greek yogurt
- 1 pkt of diced bacon
- Cook leeks and bacon in butter over medium heat with 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, the zest, salt, and pepper, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in lettuce leaves and broth, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until lettuce is tender, 5 minutes.
- Whirl soup in batches in a blender until very smooth, pouring as blended into a bowl or Braun it in the pot.
- Return soup to pot and stir in crème fraîche or Greek yogurt. Heat, stirring, over medium heat until steaming (don’t let boil), about 2 minutes
- Ladle soup into bowls or cups and sprinkle more nutmeg on top for the ‘hot’ version or chill in fridge for 2 hours for a ‘chilled’ summer lettuce soup