I haven’t been around very much, and I haven’t been cooking. I’ve been busy, which after having been very not busy for over a month has proven exhausting, and even my weekends have been full of things. The past week has blown by and in its aftermath the weather? I am being pulled under it. By tonight I was an antisocial, horizontal mess and my main objective was to eat something restorative, something soothing that would put me back in my right place.
Vegetables are greener and brighter these days, and green things are all kinds of restorative. For soothing, an avocado. And if you’re feeling flat and beige, like I am, this is the kind of thing you can make with whatever you’ve got in your fridge – if your green things are chard or kale or even lettuce, it will be more than okay. My favourite leaf is spinach, but you can use what you like. Watercress, arugula, and dandelion greens are in season at the moment. It’s vegan and easily adapted to include other ingredients – the components are only part of the experience and are easily modified, subbed out, or dropped all together.
And it’s smooth, so there’s none of that complicated chewing to be worked out. You can eat it as close to horizontal as is comfortable.
(Serves four to six.)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups vegetable stock or water (plus one or two cups additional water, as needed)
- Juice of one large lemon, about 2 tbsp.
- 2 to 3 cups leafy greens, packed
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup chopped basil or cilantro
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 or 2 large jalapeño peppers, diced (if you prefer less heat, remove seeds and membrane before dicing)
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Sweat onions and the white and light green parts of the scallions in olive oil, then add garlic. Sauté for a minute or two, until you can smell the garlic, then add four cups of stock, water, or a combination. Bring to a boil.
Stir in green things, allowing them a minute or two to wilt. Add lemon juice, and blend until smooth with a blender (in batches) or a hand blender. At this point, add liquid to reach desired consistency.
Stir in oregano, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Taste, adjusting seasonings as needed – I used more water than stock, and found I needed about 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.
Garnish with yogurt, if desired, and serve hot or chilled.