The Soup That's Almost Like a Juice Cleanse (Almost)

Alex Van Buren
Food Features Editor

You want to cook tonight. You want it to be easy. Welcome to Cook This Tonight, the place where we solve that problem for you.

Photo credit: Everyday Food

Did you man the grill yesterday? Did you wolf down a hot dog, and a hamburger, and a big slab of grilled chicken, and just for good measure, a kielbasa, because… America! 

Well, the four-meat dinner is a national classic on Memorial Day, and few are immune to its charms, but if you’re anything like us, you’re hurtin’ a little bit today…maybe from various other overindulgences, too.

So sip your salad this evening. This soup takes advantage of those romaine leaves that didn’t make it on to burgers, and (thanks to the addition of a bunch of tasty peas) features a bunch of fortifying vitamins, to boot. Buttery croutons add heft and take the edge off a decidedly Monday-ish Tuesday.

Lettuce and Pea Soup with Croutons
From Everyday Food
Serves 4

1 baguette
2 tablespoons melted butter
Coarse salt

1 large head romaine lettuce
2 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, firmly packed

Make croutons: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice half a baguette (1/4 pound) into 3/4-inch cubes (about 4 cups). Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with melted butter; season with salt. Toss well to coat; spread in an even layer.

Bake until golden brown, tossing halfway through, 15 to 20 minutes. 

Make soup: Remove dark-green outer leaves of romaine lettuce, and coarsely chop (to yield 8 cups). Reserve remaining lettuce for another use.

In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add lettuce; stir until just wilted, about 2 minutes.

Add chicken broth and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Add peas, and simmer until bright green, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in mint. Season again with salt and pepper. Using an immersion or regular blender (work in batches), puree soup until smooth. If necessary, reheat soup over medium-low heat. Serve garnished with croutons.