Straight from your own garden, lettuce makes a great soup

Nelson shares his life's experiences as well as his favoured recipes

I can’t think of a more pleasing lunch than a bowl of homemade soup and a good sandwich. Of course, the soup should be tasty, perhaps something unusual and it should go well with the sandwich.

In other words, if the soup is a thick chowder, the sandwich should be something robust, like a Rueben or a Corned Beef on Rye. A good example of a light soup and sandwich is Cream of Lettuce soup and a Ham and Cheese sandwich, lightly grilled—just enough to melt the cheese.

Let’s talk about the soup first. At this time of year, a lot of people who live in Princeton or the neighbouring areas have a row—or two—of lettuce planned for the garden, and will be waiting for an excuse to use some of it. So, what could be better than a pot of soup made with the lettuce right out of the garden?

I realize that a lot of people do not think of lettuce as a vegetable, or as a prime ingredient in a pot of soup for that matter. But take it from me, it makes a great soup. Here is what I put in mine, keeping in mind that lettuce is very delicate and you do not want to overpower it with strong ingredients.

Ingredients;

1-2 cups of lettuce well washed and packed in a measuring cup

2 slices of bacon

1/4 cup margarine

1/4 cup AP flour

1 tbsp. onion, minced

1/4 tsp. white pepper

1 cup of 10% cream or 2% milk (for the low fat people out there)

1/4 tsp sage or marjoram

dash of salt and a dash of Tabasco sauce

dollop (about a tbsp.) of butter

Method;

Blanch the lettuce in boiling water for a few seconds, chop it and transfer iota to a sauce pan. Add the milk, spices, garlic and onion. Now make a roux with the margarine and flour and add to the milk. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes. At this point take great care that it does not stick to the bottom of the pot. With a soup as delicate in flavour as this one, if you scorch it, you’re out of luck. The soup is ruined and the only thing to do is start over.

But let us be optimistic.

When the soup is cooked (there will be no flavour of raw starch left) pour everything into a blended and blend until smooth. Re-heat the soup, pour into pre-heated cups and add chopped bacon, butter and fresh parsley as a garnish. Serve hot.

The sandwich is fairly simple. Choose a good bread, a lightly smoked ham and a light cheese like Edam or Gouda for the sandwich.

Enjoy.

See Ya Next Week!