This past weekend, I planted a garden with help from my wonderful mother-in-law. I love gardening! I had a garden in my last house, but was too busy to keep up with it properly. This time around, I'm determined to weed, prune, water, feed and whatever else this little garden of mine needs. Horticulture is going to suit me well, I can tell. I like taking care of things and seeing them through.
My friend drove by in the middle of my work and remarked that she had never seen me so dirty. She thought I would hate it. Listen, just because I have manicured nails, doesn't mean I'm afraid to get them dirty. Just so long as I can make them pretty again asap :)
Being in northern Colorado, we don't have a lot of options for growing vegetables. I plan to grow zucchini and cucumbers and lots of herbs in my backyard for starters. Although, I've heard we can grow lettuce really well here, too. I might try arugula since I'd be able to make this soup for next to nothing. And this soup is really fresh and good.
You need a lot of herbs for this soup -the more the better- mint, basil, tarragon, chives. I used all of the above and justified spending the money on all of them by using the leftovers to toss into roasted fingerling potatoes for a side dish later in the week, and making mint iced tea. But if I grew them in my garden, I wouldn't have to worry about such things, would I?
Worried about serving soup in the summer? Don't be! We always have those cooler nights, and if not, this is great served cold with a dollop of plain non-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream. I put the Greek yogurt on hot or cold.
Worried a soup doesn't make a meal? Don't be! This one is so flavorful, which is a key for feeling satisfied. Whip up some whole wheat beer bread, which takes 5 minutes of your time, and your good to go.
Arugula soup is my new favorite. It screams summer, and kids love it too!
Arugula and Fresh Herb Soup
adapted from Emeril Lagasse
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon cornstarch
6 cups chicken stock, or vegetable stock
1/2 cup low-fat evaporated milk, or milk of your choice *see note below
2 (5-ounce) containers baby arugula
1/2 cup mixed chopped herbs (mint, chives, basil, tarragon and parsley)
Non-fat plain Greek yogurt, or sour cream, for topping
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic cloves; cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon cornstarch and whisk in the chicken broth and evaporated milk. Bring to a simmer. Stir in the containers of arugula and the mixed herbs. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and set aside until greens are wilted, about 5 minutes. Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth (or blend in a blender).
Divide among 6 bowls and garnish each with a dollop of Greek yogurt and more chives.
can be served hot or cold.
*And, oh the health in this pot is unreal. I usually don't like using evaporated milk in my cooking, but I tried it and understand why. Evaporated milk is slightly sweet and takes away the peppery taste arugula can have and makes the soup balanced. I bet you could substitute regular milk or an un-sweetened nut milk just fine though.
Just one more thing, and on a serious note: Please pray for Kelce. She has Angelman's syndrome, like my little daughter, and is preparing to go with our Father in heaven. I realize this is a heavy and maybe inappropriate way to bring this up, but I figure if your reading this and you pray- it's worth infinitely more than how clumsily it was brought to you.