Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Cup of Soup

Whenever we had "Lady" company for luncheon, we love to serve soup -- but not a big bowl but rather "just a cup". But not in a restaurant style cup, but rather a lovely tea cup complete with saucer.

It makes for a lovely presentation -- this Cream of Green Herb Soup garnished with a chive blossom.
And looks so elegant served in a china cup and saucer. The pink flowers of the cup and saucer are picked up by the pink of the chive blossom garnish.

It's my adaptation of a recipe from the Inn at Little Washington found in a favorite herb cookbook - Cooking with Herbs by Emilie Tolley. It's easy and oh, so good!

Cream of Green Herb Soup

1 onion, diced
1 T. butter
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups freshly picked green herbs (tarragon, sorrel, chives, sage or whatever is growing in your garden)
1 cup whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion in butter until it is translucent. Add chicken broth and herbs which have been minced. Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes. Puree in blender or with immersion blender. (You can strain after pureeing if you want -- I didn't). Add cream and heat. Can be garnished with an herb flower, if desired.
A fine china violet cup and saucer holds a springtime favorite, cream of lettuce soup, garnished with a violet pansy.
The pale green of the soup is the perfect foil for the pansy -- which is edible!!! Each teacup size serving of soup is a separate course -- not served with a salad or sandwich. The elegant teacup full of soup deserves full attention as it's own special course.

The lettuce soup recipe was found long ago in a favorite soup and bread cookbook, The Eljiah's Landing Restaurant cookbook. I've never been there but several of my luncheon soups have come from that book.


1 small onion, diced
1 T. butter
1 head iceberg lettuce, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion in butter until soft. Add chicken broth and iceberg lettuce. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes. Puree in blender or food processor. Add heavy cream, salt and pepper to taste and heat to just below a boil.

NOTE: It's amazing that the iceberg lettuce is still a bit crunch after a 15 minute simmer. Adds a great texture to the soup!


Pondside said...

What lady wouldn't feel spoiled when served her soup like that? What a lovely idea!

house things said...

Perfect. I love recipes like this. Not much fuss and not many ingredients.

Thanks, Martha, and have a great holiday weekend.

Dan said...

Lovely recipes, and your cup of soup looks very elegant!
I enjoy making (and eating) lettuce soup too. The cream of herb definitely looks like one to try as well.

Allie and Pattie said...

Martha, I love serving soups in my grandmother's lovely teacups. I will be trying the herb soup
xoxo Pattie

Lorrie said...

What a beautiful way to serve soup! Anyone would feel elegant and special!

Bernideen said...

I love this type of post- lovely doesn't do it justice!

Southerncook said...

Both soups look wonderful, Martha and thank you for sharing those recipes. Last year when I did DD's Bridesmaids Luncheon at home I served Ina's Cold Dill Soup in tea cups and it made for such an elegant presentation. I served it from an antique punch bowl while people were gathering before we sat down for our served luncheon. It was a "good thing".


From the Kitchen said...

Martha: Thanks so much for both the recipes. I love the idea of serving the delicate soup in the beautiful china tea cups. The chive blossom and viola/pansy are just the elegant touch to make a guest feel very special.


Herbgirl said...

Oh I love soup and just have to make these. Especially the herb soup!! Yummo!
Hugs N Herbal Blessings, Mandy

Dan said...

Hi Martha
I had a go at making the herb soup (with a couple of variations based on what ingredients I had available), and it was really tasty! Sadly, mine had to make do with a white bowl, rather than a beautiful teacup.

Martha said...

Dan -- glad you liked the soup -- a great spring and summer soup when herbs are in abundance!

Unknown said...

Oh thank you thank you thank you for the lettuce soup recipe! I LOVE this soup, and have never made it; now I can.

I love soups like this --the lettuce AND the herb -- and served in a tea cup ... so pretty!

I am not surprised you had a silver fan vase; I picked this one up because of its flat shape -- my parlor mantel is quite shallow, so this fits just nicely. It's already there, with roses from the bush behind the house. And a little ivy to fill in. Works great!


Cass @ That Old House said...

Whoops! I just commented using an 'alias' -- no, actually, using another email identity, my "real" name ... Catherine.
So sorry if I confused you! It's just... Cass

Suz said...