Dandelion soup for the soul. Oh, how delicious it is!
If you’re scared off by bitter greens like dandelion, pull up a chair and get comfy, because today we’re taking the fear factor out of the mighty dandelion green. He’s a true powerhouse of detoxifying nutrients, not to be missed by astute health enthusiasts. (That would be you.)
When I first learned that dandelion greens were edible years ago, I was sort of shocked. You mean, those weeds that grow in soccer fields and backyards across America are actually super foods? You better believe it! (Although I wouldn’t recommend that you go “foraging” for your greens in the neighborhood. Hello, Pesticide City. I stick to organic greens sold at my health food store.)
A spring super food, you’ll start to see dandelion greens popping in farmers’ markets soon.
These mighty greens are loaded with vitamin A (a powerful immune booster that’s also important for eye health), vitamin K (a regulator of blood clots as well as a key nutrient in building bones), and vitamin C (the beloved vitamin that’s so important for immune health, collagen formation, fighting infection, preventing cancer, and so much more).
Dandelion greens are characterized by their bitter flavor that makes even a leafy green guru like me wrinkle my nose. Lightly cooking the greens is the perfect way to temper their bite without losing too much nutritional value. So…
I made us some soup!
Yesterday was a total weather downer. I think heavy gray skies, drizzle, wind, and 37 degrees qualifies as a dreary day if there ever was one. So I decided to brighten things up by making myself a beautiful bowl of green soup for lunch.
To give this detoxifying soup a creamy texture without adding potatoes or soaked cashews (both good options, just not what I was after), I turned to my old standby: cauliflower. Good old cauli comes to my rescue time and again. (See Exhibit A and Exhibit B, both delish!)
Here’s the key to maintaining lots of nutrients in those sassy dandelion greens: Add them to the soup off heat after the other vegetables are tender. The warmth of the broth will wilt the greens and temper the bitterness perfectly without cooking the life out of them.
Extra creaminess comes from a touch of avocado pureed into the soup once the greens have wilted. The healthy fat aids in assimilation of the many nutrients in this soup. Plus I just love adding even more green to an already glowing green soup.
Care to garnish your soup? Have at it! I just couldn’t bring myself to cover up that gorgeous color with another ingredient. It’s just so pure and vibrant. You can’t beat the beauty of real food.
Oh, and the taste? Killer. The bitterness is not overwhelming. When paired with the other ingredients, the dandelion greens take on more of an earthy flavor that’s rounded out with smoothness from the cauliflower and avocado.
So while you might not want those pesky dandelions in your yard, you should definitely pack them into your fridge!
I told you they weren’t so scary.
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1 medium head)
- 2 medium shallots, chopped (or 3 if small)
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 heaping cups chopped or torn dandelion greens (no thick stems)
- ½ medium ripe avocado, pitted and diced
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the cauliflower and shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes until the shallots are soft. Add the garlic. Stir for 1 minute. Add the broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the cauliflower is just tender.
- Remove from heat and stir in the dandelion greens until wilted. Allow the soup to stand, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir the avocado into the soup. Use a blender to puree the soup until it is thick and creamy. Serve right away.