Guest Post: That field of Greens May Also Be Your Dinner


Will Forage for Soup: Gourmet Soup From Wild Greens, is one of the eBooks included in the Ultimate Survival Bundle.  Amanda Rose (co-author) has been so kind to write up a guest post for me to share with you all.  I was given the opportunity to review her eBook last week and below is just a teaser of the great recipes that are included in it.

Order the Ultimate Survival Bundle here, before it’s gone!


Lamb's Quarters Foraging for Greens SoupAs foodies, many of us are looking for a meal satisfying in flavor and nutrition, but most of us want more than that: an entire lifestyle with the flavor, nutrition, and satisfaction that the food we are eating is fantastic. In our household, we began our food foraging as a way to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the typical food-sourcing experience. Instead of navigating parking lots and cereal aisles, we hiked and climbed rocks. We were stung by nettle and scratched by wild blackberry vines in the process but it was all good. Fresh air, exercise, and exquisite food have a way of making up for bruises, scratches, and welts. Admittedly until the spring of 2012, our foraging was limited to batches of wild berry jam and springtime collections of chamomile and nettle for tea. In April of 2012, I set out to collect two bags of nettle from a field I had my eye on. As I looked more closely at the field, gloves, clippers, and bags in hand, I discovered that for every nettle plant, there were about one hundred lamb’s quarters plants in the same field. I looked at my bags and at the lamb’s quarters. I wondered, “Shouldn’t I pick some of this other green? What would I do with a mountain of lamb’s quarters?” I filled by bags with lamb’s quarters and threw in some nettle stems for good measure. I took the greens home intent on trying a greens soup. Soup is a great way to consume a pile of greens. At home, I described the field full of lamb’s quarters to my mom as we worked together on the soup — sautéed onion and garlic, spices, boiled and drained lamb’s quarters in a base of broth, all pureed into a dense pot of greenness. We were taken a back by just how green the soup was, but we ladled it out and sat down together to try it, albeit a bit hesitantly. I ate four bowls of greens soup that night. We laughed as I finished the fourth: Clearly my body needed this extra-green bowl of foraged goodness. We made plans to harvest more lamb’s quarters from that field and spent Mother’s Day of 2012 doing just that. We loaded the back of my station wagon with lamb’s quarters and processed it for the freezer. We had greens soup for months. This is one of our recipes from the 2012 season, using some foraged greens and some cabbage from our garden, but any greens that you like will do.

Greens Soup Ingredients

Greens Soup from Foraged Greens

  • 1/2 gallon green cabbage leaves, cleaned and torn or chopped
  • 1/2 gallon lambs quarter leaves, torn from the stems and cleaned
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Coconut oil or oil of your choice
  • 8 cups bone broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour or thickening of your choice (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 heaping tablespoon dried tarragon

Greens Soup Steps

  1. In a large soup pot sauté the onion, garlic and pepper flakes in oil until the onion begins to brown.
  2. Add the tarragon and sauté for a couple more minutes. The oil wakes up the flavor of the tarragon.
  3. Pour in the bone broth and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add the cabbage greens, put on a lid, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, bring a pot of water to boil, add the lambs quarters, and boil for about five minutes. Discard the boiling water.
  6. Once the cabbage is cooked, add the boiled lambs quarters, stir, and allow the mixed greens to simmer for a couple of minutes.
  7. Carefully pull the greens from the broth and puree in a food processor.
  8. Return the pureed greens to the soup pot and stir to blend. The soup will already be thick. If you would like it thicker, then blend the tapioca flour with a cup of water and slowly add to the soup, stirring the whole time. The soup will be thickened in about 2 minutes.
  9. Check for salt and pepper and make adjustments.

After falling in love with this soup completely in 2012, we found ourselves disappointed that the drier season here in 2013 would affect the lamb’s quarters crop. What would we do without our lamb’s quarters soup? One mid-winter morning as my mom and I drove down the same road we’ve traveled on for 30 years, she said, “Honey! Stop the car!” At the nearest turnout we walked back to examine a field of green that caught my mom’s eye. It was stinging nettle, a green that makes an exceptionally silky soup. We filled our freezer with 30 quarts of blanched nettle leaf within weeks of our discovery. We had so much nettle that our small small lamb’s quarters harvest later in the spring was of no consequence. The freezer was stocked and greens soup makes regular appearances on our menu. As you travel in your local area, take a second look at fields of green. Your next dinner may be looking back at you.


Amanda Rose, Ph.D. is the coauthor of Will Forage for Soup: Gourmet Soup From Wild Greens, written with her mother in California’s Sequoia National Forest. Find them both at the website.


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