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March 7, 2024
A Very Green Soup for the Late-Winter Blues

Whatever you do, don’t forget the garlic butter drizzle.

This time each year, I cope with the never-ending Pacific Northwest winter by cheating a little bit of spring into my dinners. Last year around this time, I shared my recipe for vibrantly green frozen pea pesto; this year, in the same vein, I’m here with a recipe for green potato soup. It showcases the first glimpse of new produce—sweet leeks and tender greens—for a lush, creamy soup that’s at once cozy and fresh.

The key to getting this soup right is to add about equal parts potato and leek. The leeks bring most of the flavor, adding sweetness and an aromatic quality, so to maximize their contribution, I like to cook them until they’re golden brown and beginning to caramelize. The greens are added just before the soup gets pureed, adding not only a vibrant color but also a bright, verdant flavor. I like adding handfuls of tender greens like spinach and arugula, but kale works well too. In certain parts of the United States, stinging nettles are coming into season, and if you can get your hands on a bag of those (not literally!), they make a delightful, slightly peppery addition to your potato soup.

Since pureed soups risk tasting a bit one-note, it’s important to be generous with garnishes to add a little something special to each bite (sip?). For this soup, I like to top each bowl with some fresh raw greens, a swirl of cream, and, most important, a healthy drizzle of golden garlic butter, which is made by slowly cooking smashed cloves of garlic in a bath of melted butter until they’re tender and fragrant. These garlic cloves are flavor-filled jewels, so be sure to include a couple with each serving of soup.

At its core, potato soup is a humble meal made from a few inexpensive and widely accessible ingredients. If any dish ever truly embodied the phrase “more than the sum of its parts,” this is that dish. Smooth, rich, and gorgeously green, it’s a luxe-feeling soup with a bargain price tag (and a garlic butter that will ruin you for all soups that don’t have garlic butter). Give this recipe a try with any greens you’ve got lying around in the fridge, or even the freezer, and manifest dreams of a sunny spring yet to come.

RECIPE: Potato and Greens Soup with Garlic Butter

Zola Gregory

Zola Gregory is a writer and recipe developer based in Seattle. Having previously worked as a pastry chef and baker, she now enjoys helping others find success in their own kitchens through her stories, recipes, and baking classes.