I’m just going to quote what Myra Kornfeld says at the beginning of her recipe, because I couldn’t say it any better…
Your body will thank you for this gorgeous tonic after the heavier foods of winter. To make the soup quickly, put the stock on to simmer while you prepare the greens. Once the stock is ready, the soup takes only 20 minutes. You can substitute any greens that you have on hand: mustard greens, spinach, frisée, and sorrel are all delicious. Add a can of white beans to the soup, serve some crusty bread, and you have a nourishing light meal.”
You can also use watercress and escarole. I’ve made this many times with many different greens combinations. This time I used 3 parts chard and 1 part arugula. You want about 12 cups of greens. It seems like a lot, but they cook down. Also, this soup gets better and better everyday. If you want, make it ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge for a few days. Omit the cheese to make it vegan.
Adapted from: The Healthy Hedonist
2 heads garlic, cloves separated and peeled
sliced leek greens (green parts only- from 3 leeks) washed well*
¼ cup green or brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
10 fresh sage leaves
10 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
10 cups water
1 tsp. salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
sliced leeks (white parts only, from the same 3 leeks) washed well
2-3 carrots, diced
2-3 bunches Swiss chard, stems removed, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 bunch arugula, heavy stems removed, torn into bits
Umboshi vinegar (Ume Plum Vinegar)
freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Combine the garlic, leek greens, lentils, sage, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and water in a soup pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and stir in the salt. Simmer, partially covered, until the flavor is rich and garlicky, 35-40 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat. Remove 5-6 garlic cloves from the broth, mash with a fork, and set aside. Strain the stock, pushing the solids against the strainer to get as much liquid as possible. Measure the broth: you should have 2 quarts. If you don’t have that much, add water to measure 2 quarts.
Warm the oil in the now empty soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the leek whites and carrots, and cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the greens, mashed garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt, and sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.
* For the leeks: Trim the root end off, discard any outer leaves that look bad, and slice the leeks in half lengthwise. Wash very well and slice.