PROTEIN PACKED GREEN SOUP
POSTED ON October 27, 2017
Over the past six months or so I’ve been focusing on increasing protein in my diet. Being a vegetarian my whole life I never felt like my meals were lacking protein or that it was difficult to get enough into my daily diet—I’ve always loved beans and tempeh and the occasional eggs. However, when I took an honest look at how much I was eating a daily, I realized my protein intake could do with some improvement. I discovered when I started keeping track that the challenge in getting enough protein wasn’t happening when I had time to prepare balanced meals. The shortage arose when meal prep needed to be quick. For people who like replacing their meals with smoothies, this isn’t so hard. But, if you’re like me and want something savory, grounding and warming then this soup is for you. It’s as easy and filling as a high protein smoothie, yet it really is a soup. The secret for making it not taste like a savory green smoothie is to lightly steam the greens and leeks before blending them with cooked chickpeas and soaked almonds. The almonds and chickpeas give the soup a good amount of body and creaminess, as well as make it extremely satisfying.
One trick I’ve been using to increase protein has been to keep a jar of cooked and drained chickpeas in the fridge. When freshly cooked (preferably in a pressure cooker) they have a rich, creamy texture and tasty sweet flavor, even when plain. I grab handfuls to snack on and toss them into salads, bowls of steamed vegetables and simple vegetable soups. Of course they taste amazing marinated or mashed, but sometimes that even seems like too much trouble.
Many of you know how much I love pressure cookers as they really are the secret to a creamy bean interior with an intact shape. Because the pot is closed, all the naturally sweet flavors are trapped inside, which results in a very tasty bean, with an almost sweet flavor. I’ve been using a Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker for over 20 years and I’m yet to find a more reliable or better quality pressure cooker.
PROTEIN PACKED GREEN SOUP
Makes 5 cups| Serves 3 to 4
½ cup whole raw almonds, soaked overnight in 2 cups filtered water
1 cup sliced leeks
6 cups chopped greens, I used a mixture of kale and collard greens
3 cups boiling water
½ cup cooked chickpeas, drained
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chickpea miso, optional
½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
¼ large garlic clove
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, if desired
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Drain and rinse almonds, and place them in an upright blender. Add leeks to a steamer basket and spread out over bottom. Top with greens and steam for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Check that leeks have softened and don’t taste raw. Add to blender with almonds and pour in boiling water, chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, miso (if using), salt and garlic. Blend until smooth, taste for salt, add black pepper and blend again. You can add more water if mixture is too thick. Pour into bowls or cups and serve immediately. Soup will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge, warm leftovers gently as you don’t want to cook the miso. It also tastes pretty good at room temperature if you’re eating it on the go.
POSTED IN cleanse, Gluten free, Soup
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What is chickpea miso?
It is a soy free miso made from chickpeas…if you can’t find it white miso or mellow white miso will be delicious too.
I just made this and it’s so good! Creamy and flavorful and a great way to pack in the greens. I always feel like I’m skipping over collard greens at the market because I don’t know what to do with them. so it was nice to finally pick up a bunch and make them into this vibrant soup.
I’m so happy to read your comment. Collards can be hard to use but when they’re fresh like they are at the moment, they’re tender and delicious.
Enjoy the soup!
Thank you for this oh so easy delicious soup. I loved it and also had trouble using collard greens as found them chewy. Not any more. Barb
I’m so glad! Thanks so much for cooking my recipes Barb.
Commented on instagram, and reporting back here. This was great – just the right balance of spices to make it complete. We’ve been moving into a renovation zone and this was the first meal cooked in our new kitchen. A perfect detox to the burritos and prepared meals of the last few weeks! Next up will likely be your red lentil – my other detox go to 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for reporting back here. Good to have something easy and healthy on hand when renovating. Happy soup making!
Thank you Jahnavi!
Does it taste the same without the miso?
You can season with more salt instead if you like. The miso adds a umami taste and deepens flavor but can be left out for sure.
Let me know how you like it!
I just made this and I loved it…Will add as a staple in my recipe box…It’s going to be spectacular on New Years day 😉
Yes great idea!
What do you think about dark (hatcho) miso? I’ve noticed it doesn’t appear in your recipes and I believe from the macrobiotic point of view, it’s ‘the’ miso paste. Do you find the taste difficult to introduce among non-japanese people? Or is it for different reasons?
I’d love to use it more in my cooking, but I find the taste to be overwhelming, while the shiro miso paste is absolutely delicious and I enjoy it dissolved in a cup of hot water alone. I’ve just gifted myself your book for Christmas and I’m excited about the slightly asian touch in your cooking :).
Hatcho miso is a delicious miso. I love to use it in miso soup in winter as it is more warming and saltier than the lighter miso’s.
I find the lighter miso’s are more versatile as they don’t over power delicate flavors. The best way to incorporate it is to combine it with lighter miso if you find the flavor too strong.
Thank you so much for buying my book. I really appreciate it!
Wishing you a great 2018!
Can this be made without the almonds?
Yes. Although they add body and enrich it. You could swap out cashews or sunflower seeds if you like.
What a wonderful looking action-packed soup. I am considering making it soon. Unfortunately Collard Greens are not readily available in Australia.
Once Upon A Time … my partner and I grew Collard Greens – they were a great success and very delish.
Times change and for the moment grabbing fresh and preferably organic leafy greens from our local “wholefood” supplier in Central Victoria is where we are at right now.
I am wondering whether subbing with Curly Kale or even Silverbeet (Chard) would be aok for this lovely soup.
Thanks for writing Lisa. yes I think curly kale or any kind of kale is a great substitute for this soup.
Hope you’ve been enjoying it. So strange how collards are not popular in Australia. I hadn’t tried them until moving to the US.
Hope you’re safe and well!