Green Soup with Ginger Recipe

From the new Anna Thomas cookbook, Love Soup - a soup cramming more spinach, leeks, sweet potatoes and chard into each bowl than I ever thought possible.

Green Soup with Ginger

I think it must have been the combination of daybreak pain au chocolates, afternoon tarts, and twilight glasses of Chablis that sent me scrambling for my favorite soup recipes upon arriving home from Paris. Because that's what happened. I've been making soup and stews - big pots - for the past week. Hearty, rustic, chunky soups full of greens and grains and flavor. Remember this lentil soup from a while back? Made that. The cabbage soup? Made that too. But I also made this Green Soup with Ginger from the new Anna Thomas book, Love Soup. It has a short list of ingredients - onions, leeks, spinach, chard, sweet potatoes and ginger - and it's the kind of thing that makes you feel good. I'm not sure it's possible to pack more greens into a single pot.

Green Ginger Soup Recipe

I should mention that Anna has a long track record of writing much-loved recipes. She wrote The Vegetarian Epicure in 1973, a classic, while she was a graduate student in film production at UCLA. I'm sure many of you know it well.

Green Ginger Soup Recipe

For those of you interested in knowing a bit more about the new book, all the recipes in Love Soup are vegetarian, many vegan. If you've ever wondered what to do with this ingredient or that in your farm box - from golden beets to purple cauliflower, this book is a nice catalog of ideas. I made her deconstructed hummus soup before we left for Paris, also good.

Green Ginger Soup Recipe

The book is 525 pages, b/w with illustrations, no photos. The soups are seasonally organized, and most are as approachable as the one I'm featuring today - unfussy instructions, achievable ingredient lists. Anna also includes a few salad, bread, and sweet recipes to close out the volume.

Let me know if any of you have tried any of the recipes from Love Soup yet. It'll help me decided which one to try next. -h

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Green Soup with Ginger Recipe

I made my own tweaks to Anna's soup, and my version is as follows. The main difference was that the soup was so pretty after cooking (see photos), that I decided not to puree mine at the last minute. But I did puree the leftovers (also delicious!), just a different soup altogether. It's up to you really. Anna also mentions that she sometimes adds a bit of miso or tamari at the very end to deepen the flavor, but you should add it sparingly, and taste as you go.

1 large yellow onion (250g)
2 tablespoons (30 ml.) olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
1 large sweet potato (12 ounces; 350 g)
1 large leek, white and light green parts (5 ounces; 140 g)
1 bunch spinach (8 ounces; 225 g)
1 large bunch green chard (12 ounces; 350 g)
3 tablespoons (30 g) chopped fresh ginger, plus more to taste
2 cups (500 ml) good-tasting vegetable broth
2-4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper

Chop the onion and cook it slowly in the olive oil with a sprinkle of salt, stirring now and then, over low heat until it is soft and golden, about half an hour.

Meanwhile, peel and dice the sweet potato and put it in a large soup pot with 4 cups (1 liter) water and a teaspoon of sea salt. Thoroughly wash the leek, spinach, and chard, chop them coarsely, and add them to the pot, along with the chopped ginger.

Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer the soup, covered, for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are completely tender. Add the caramelized onions when they are ready. When the vegetables are soft, add the vegetable broth (you can add less if you like a thicker soup) and decide whether you want your soup chunky, like this, or smooth. If the latter, puree the soup in a blender, in batches, or with an immersion blender until it is smooth.

Stir in 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice and a few grinds of black pepper. Taste, and correct the seasoning with additional salt or lemon juice.

Serves 5-6.

This recipe was adapted from Love Soup by Anna Thomas. Published by W. W. Norton & Company; September 2009. For those of you who want to get books signed, Anna is visiting quite a number of California book stores throughout October and November, more info here.

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 30 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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I made zucchini and potato soup, and spicy Indonesian yam and peanut soup - both fantastic.


the chill in the seattle air has come to stay and soup is the perfect solution! this soup looks so inviting - i made your lively lentil soup this morning and almost ate it for breakfast! i suggest the Better Than Boullion line for a good stock replacement - its delish...

kate m

Hey there. I love that you added the g(ram) infos in the recipe. I would be so grateful if yiu could keep that up. Especially with your wounderful backong recipes. It´s a real pain to convert the cups in to the metric system. THANKS!


Hmm, I do need to start making soups now the weather's turning (it's miserably cold here in Chicago), and this one sounds lovely with the leeks and the sweet potato and the chard. Only thing is, I am one of the rare breed that doesn't particularly like ginger. Undeterred, I shall still try this one out - never know, maybe it'll finally convince me that ginger really isn't the devil's food!


I love the name of that book! I too, LOVE SOUP! I make it all the time, but I've never made anything quite like this soup. It looks so hearty and healthy. Thanks for posting the recipe!


So I should not use my absolutely foul- tasting veg stock for this recipe? ;) Looks great--I'm making it tonight!

Bunny Cucina

Question about the cooking time: 30 minutes for chard and spinach? I really want to try this recipe but that makes me a little nervous. I hate when the greens turn into overcooked brown-y guck and I've never simmered chard more than 15 minutes (tender perfect!) and spinach I usually just toss in at the end of cooking to brighten and wilt. Would it be better here to add those leafy bits when you add the stock or ? Did it really turn out ok after 30 minutes?


Your suggestion for Rapunzel soup base is wonderful - it really makes a difference! Can't wait to try this. PS - made your peanut butter treats with the piles of shredded wheat that are left at the bottom of the bag instead of puffed rice - delish!


This is a gorgeous flavorful dish. Exactly the kind of soup recipe I am looking for as I am trying to stay away from dairy/cream based soups. Adding this to my collection. Adding "Love Soup" to my collection as well! Thanks!!

lisa (dandysugar)

Up here in Southern Ontario it's been cold, cold, cold...eight degrees celsius and windy. My family has had soup four out of five nights this week, and each night a different soup. This one looks like a gem and I have the book and love it. I also have one called Soup Kitchen which is a collection of recipes by some known English Chefs. Also sorted by season, there are some really interesting soups there as well. As always, another wonderful post.


I think you and I share tastes in soups, because every time you post a recipe, I am immediately in love with it! Love the sweet potato cubes in here. Yum!


I am not certain it is traveling at all, but the changing of the seasons that those who cook passionately wind up acting out, most beautifully. As the seasons change, I have noticed this is a response to our eternal human connection to the subtle influences of mother nature!! I too, have been on a cooking jag for a few weeks now and initially thought it due to something else, until I also begin to notice, reaction to fall is everywhere in people, in all sorts of expressions. However! Soup is one of the very best responses to this time of the year, and this recipe is beautiful in all of its life and health-supporting properties. Thank-you for sharing your seasonal inspiration. I can't wait to try this!!

la femme artiste

Got some spinach at home and was wondering what kind of soup I should do! Your idea comes right on time!! Thank you for putting gram measurement in the recipe, makes it all a little easier here in Europe, not that I mind to convert...! Sylvia


I'm making some when I get home tonight with garbanzos in it ! ! ! !


Wow! Anna's book is 525 pages long -- and all about soup! That's quite a recipe book! I must look into it! The soup you featured sounds fantastic, especially since the weather has been turning Fall-like and I've been buying hard squash, making potato soup, etc. -- all the sort of things I didn't do during the hot weather. From what I read, you had a great trip, but I hope you're glad to be home again too!


Oh Heidi this looks delicious! And it's perfect soup-making weather out here in MA. I might have to convince my roommates to make some nice soup... Tegan


Thanks for the heads-up about the booksignings - I will see Anna on October 11 around the corner from home in Berkeley.


Hi Heidi, I've been a long time reader, but have never commented till now. I was looking for a recipe for chickpea burgers and used your search function. It's fantastic! So easy to see all your past posts on the subject and very comprehensive! Just wanted to share that with you and thank you for a great blog.


This looks so good, is there something that can be substituted for the spinach though? Unfortunately it doesn't agree with my stomach. Do you think Kale would work? Can't wait to try this. Loving you blog!!!


I giggle whenever you write "good-tasting" broth. hehe As if we should sometimes use bad-tasting broth! Funny because it's true, a lot of canned veg stock taste horrible on its own. HS: Some of those broths in the carton taste horrible! And I can't remember the last time I used canned broth. I like the little broth cubes by Rapunzel. I've been meaning to try Marigold too.

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

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