We’ve had a pretty good lettuce crop this year. Enjoy it now because while we try to grow lettuce in the summer, we don’t always succeed. If you’re tired of eating lettuce raw and in salads, you can also cook it for a great chilled soup for a hot day.
Chilled Lettuce Soup — modified from the New York Times
1 large onion, sliced
Salt and ground pepper
1-2 heads lettuce, cut into thin ribbons; reserve center heart for garnish
2 cups stock
1/2 to 1 cup cream or half-and-half
Small croutons or crumbled bacon for garnish.
1. Put butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; when it melts, add onion and sweat for about 2 minutes or until it begins to soften; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add all but a couple of handfuls of the lettuce to the pan, reserving the rest for garnish, and cook until it wilts. Add stock, turn the heat to medium-high and bring liquid to a boil; lower heat to medium and cook until lettuce is very soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Put cooked lettuce in a blender and add 2 cups of ice water. Purée mixture until smooth, then put in a large bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
3. Once soup is chilled, add cream or half-and-half to taste and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Finely chop reserved lettuce and put about 1/4 cup in each bowl and ladle soup on top. Garnish with croutons or bacon.
4. We further garnished our soup by adding a sauteed lettuce heart. Slice the center stem and center few leaves down the middle and saute of medium heat, turning every once in a while. Cool the sauteed lettuce and add to the chilled soup before serving!