While most cooks use microgreens only in cold dishes like salads and smoothies, I like to find ways to incorporate their tasty goodness into hot dishes as well … especially soup.
This can be a challenge, as heat rapidly wilts the delicate greens. My secret technique to keep microgreens bright and crisp atop a steaming bowl of soup, all the way to the table? Float the freshly-snipped greens on a protective – and delicious! – layer of grated cheese, or a dollop of cool plain yogurt, just before serving.
While you can use this layering strategy for any hot soup, with any microgreens you like, I am particularly fond of peppery Oriental mustard microgreens atop hearty, homemade tomato soup.
This past week has been wintry, so I found myself craving the warmth and comfort of tomato soup.
I started with a new-to-me recipe from Onceamonthmom.com, and tweaked it to our family taste for hot stuff – adding roasted New Mexico green chilies to the mix, and topping it with sharp Cheddar cheese and the aforementioned Oriental mustard microgreens.
Here’s what I made:
Tomato & Beef Soup with Microgreen Garnish
Makes 4 Servings
Adapted from Christine @ Onceamonthmom.com
2 cans (14.5-oz ea) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup coconut milk, canned or carton
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup diced onion
1/4 cup peeled & diced roasted green chilies
1 pound ground beef
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup homemade chicken broth
Garnish: Grated cheese and freshly snipped microgreens
In a blender or food processor, combine diced tomatoes and coconut. Blend until smooth. Reserve.
Heat coconut oil in a large stockpot. Sauté onions and green chilies together until the onions are soft and translucent.
Add ground beef, garlic and salt. Cook, stirring to break up large chunks, until beef is browned and crumbly. Drain off excess fat.
Return stock pot with drained beef mixture to heat. Stir in blended tomato/coconut mixture and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Ladle soup into 4 serving bowls. Top each with grated cheese of choice (I like sharp cheddar), then sprinkle freshly snipped microgreens over the cheese. Serve immediately!
Note: You can substitute a tablespoon of plain yogurt (low-fat or full-fat) per bowl for the grated cheese. The yogurt should be at cool room temperature before garnishing your soup.
I like Christine’s technique of blending the tomatoes and the coconut milk before adding to the soup! And when winter forces you to fall back on commercially canned tomatoes, choosing “fire roasted” tomatoes really adds color and texture to your soup.
I should note that the original recipe works beautifully for a Paleo diet. Just leave out my grated cheese if you’re Paleo-ing – what the heck, so your microgreens wilt a bit, right?