While romaine might seem an odd soup ingredient, the lettuce lightens the texture of the soup once it’s been pureed.
2 teaspoons vegetable oil, such as olive or canola oil
6 scallions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup split peas
1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
1/2 cup packed basil leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
4 1/2 cups water
2/3 cup low-fat (1%) milk
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a large nonstick saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the scallions and garlic, and cook until the scallions are tender, about 2 minutes.
2. Stir in the split peas, lettuce, basil, salt, pepper, oregano, and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the split peas are tender, about 45 minutes.
3. Working in batches, transfer the soup to a food processor and puree. Return the puree to the pan, add the milk, and gently heat over low heat.
4. Serve the soup sprinkled with Parmesan. Makes 6 servings
Creamy Basil-Lentil Soup Use lentils instead of split peas and substitute ground cumin for the oregano. Substitute Garlic Broth for the water.
Good source of: fiber, folate, potassium, thiamin
While many types of lettuce are nutritional lightweights, romaine is uncharacteristically rich in nutrients. Romaine provides an impressive collection of vitamins and minerals such as folate, potassium, and vitamin C. And the deep color of its leaves is a clue to the fact that romaine also contains a rich supply of the carotenoid beta carotene.
If you are carefully watching your sodium, be sure to read this before preparing this recipe:Sodium Intake and Salt in Recipes
From The Johns Hopkins Cookbook Library: Recipes for a Healthy Heart, edited by Simeon Margolis, M.D., Ph.D. and Lora Brown Wilder, Sc.D., M.S., R.D.