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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This is just what my body needs to give my cold it's last and final kick..

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen

Dear Heidi, I've been reading your recipe journal for a long time, but I've never posted any message before. I really love your recipes and, especially, this green soup with ginger recipe (I looove soups!). It looks like the perfect comfort food : ) Delicious.. Warm regards from Italy, Bianca


I love the soup! I made it tonight and both my son and I ate a healthy serving. He is seven and this was impressive on his part :) ! Thank you!!!


I just purchased Love Soup AND the Vegetarian Epicure - I can't wait to get my hands on these recipes.

Dancing Phalanges

Heidi, you've done it again! Somehow, magically, I had most of the ingredients for this soup in my 'fridge! I made this for dinner tonight and I think this might have been the TASTIEST soup I have ever made. The timing on this recipe is just perfect. The flavors stay distinct and every bite is warming and delicious. Thanks again for sharing!

Lauren Z

Yum--sweet potatoes and ginger. Three cheers for soup season!

The Leftoverist

Great recipe, I might substitute kale and collard for the greens because there is more utilizable iron compared to chard and spinach.


Heidi, I too have been making soups and stews since I got home from Paris last week, but only because I caught a miserable head cold on the plane!!!! Your soup looks satisfying and healing. I would like some right now!

stacey snacks

I haven't looked into Anna's book yet, but I pureed a baked butternut squash with cardamon that was amazing. I do simple pureed veggies a lot, with just a bit of stock or cooking water and some spice, occasionally a spoon of miso. Another fave is steamed cauliflower and carrots, pureed with a handful of cilantro and a bit of stock.


i loved this recipe!!! i made a couple of adjustments that worked out well -- i used lacinato kale and green cabbage because that's what i had on hand. also i added fried tofu for the top and rice noodles for extra yum. this soup completely hit the spot and was totally delicious, the leeks and a little squeeze of lemon were perfect. thanks for all these yummy recipes!


This looks like a delicious recipe, although I'm still puzzling over how it was inspired by Parisian chocolate, tarts, and wine. ;)


i have lots of chard left in the garden & this soup looks like the ideal foil to the cool Canadian autumn weather. Thanks!


I adore Anna Thomas. The Vegetarian Epicure was the first cookbook I ever owned; I think I was about 16 when I bought it! And there are some recipes in it that I've made at least once each year for the 30 year since then. I can't wait to get my hands on her new one. Thank you for sharing. The photos, of course, are gorgeous!


Considering my CSA has me inundated with greens, I was running out of things to do with them! This sounds fantastic, and I think a little dry sherry in the mix will really amp up the flavor. Sad to see the summer go, but really glad it's time for soup:)


I just discovered your site and while I have yet to try any of your recipes, I feel like I had to write and complement you on your photography. Simply beautiful! This green soup is now on this weekend's menu; can't wait to try it out.

Michael B

Ok, made this for lunch and it was spot on! Great recipe Heidi! I had asked above about cooking the greens for slightly less time and it turned out about right when I did--I used scallions (no leeks in the fridge!) and simmered them with the diced sweet potato, a clove of garlic and the chard stems for about 10 minutes, then added the chard greens and caramelized onions and simmered for 10 minutes further before adding the spinach in the last five minutes or so. I also had no fresh ginger left so I added 3 small cloves of garlic (minced) and about 1.5 tsp of ground dried ginger to the caramelized onions and gave them a quick stir around the pan for about a minute before removing the onions off the heat. I also used 6 cups of water and veggie bouillon cubes instead of water and stock. Definitely add the lemon before serving, it brightens everything up. Lovely soup for a dreary Vancouver day :)


I have also been in soup mode. I like the hearty amount of ginger in this soup!

Cookin' Canuck

This looks amazing--chard and ginger, two incredibly rejuvenating ingredients! I think leafy greens are so underused in soups. My mom made this Green Chard Soup nearly every day when I was growing up, and she has always remained remarkably healthy. Not to mention, it tastes delicious!


This is exactly what I go to when I need to feel good. I am a soupaholic. I will make one big pot and eat it til it's gone This soup looks hearty, healthy and wise.


The soup looks so tasty and simple, love all the greens! Looking forward to checking out the book too.

amy chaplin

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