Lamb’s Quarters and Pea Shoot Soup

This recipe uses two fun things that are at the farmer’s market right now, lamb’s quarters and pea shoots. If you don’t know what to do with them, here’s a great, easy recipe.

Lamb’s quarters grow wild and are sometimes considered a weed, but when cooked they taste a lot like chard or spinach. You can cook the leaves and stems, or just the leaves if you’re adding them to a salad.

Pea shoots are the young leaves and tendrils of pea plants. They’re high in potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. Pea shoots have long been used in Chinese cooking, but we’ve they’ve only become popular here more recently. Pea shoots are usually eaten raw in salads or stirred into a dish at the last minute and lightly cooked.

Time: 30 minutes

A few tablespoons of olive oil
2 stalks of green garlic, washed
2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and sliced
2½ cups stock or water
1 bunch (or 2 handfuls) lambs quarters, washed and roughly chopped
1 bunch (or 2 handfuls) pea shoots, washed and roughly chopped
Salt and pepper

1. Cut off the tender top third of the green garlic stalks and set aside. Take the remaining thick stem and bulb and roughly chop. Turn heat to medium high under a medium sized stockpot, when hot add oil and throw in chopped garlic. Stir. Let garlic cook for the next 5 minutes until soft, stirring often. When garlic is soft, add in the sliced potatoes and 2 teaspoons salt, stir, and pour in stock or water. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.

2. When potatoes are soft, stir in lambs quarters and garlic tops, cover, and cook for 4 minutes, until leaves are soft but still bright green. Add in pea shoots and cook for another minute. Use an immersion blender or blend by batches in a standing blender until completely smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or cold. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a dash of lemon juice, and a few fresh pea shoots.

Yield: 4 servings

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