Arugula Soup with Parmesan

by Joseph Erdos
Print Email

arugulasoupThis past summer I've grown more arugula than I've known what to do with. This fall the arugula has been looking better than I ever expected. Lately I've been coming up with ways to use it all before the frost comes. But there's only so much raw arugula one can eat. So I've started cooking with it, making sautés and even soup. Most people would think that arugula is not for cooking, but in fact many European recipes use arugula. In Italy, arugula is enjoyed in pasta dishes and on pizzas. It can also be made into a very flavorful pesto that can be used in pasta or spread on sandwiches. There's a lot more to arugula than salad.

This soup features the pungent and peppery flavor of arugula. A rind of Parmesan cooked into the soup adds salty flavor. The mascarpone cheese stirred in toward the end enrichens the texture of the soup. Since arugula has a tendency to become stringy when cooked, the soup is best puréed until silky smooth. Serve the soup with grated Parmesan and a drizzle of fruity olive oil to complement the flavor of the leafy green. It's great enjoyed as an appetizer soup or even a simple dinner when paired with crusty bread. There's no better time to grow arugula and enjoy this soup than the chilly months of autumn.


Arugula, or rocket as it is also known, is a green vegetable with long open leaves, unlike a head of lettuce. It is now cultivated, but used to be forage for in the wild. Native to the Mediterranean region, arugula has been around since Roman times. Besides it's vibrant green color and peppery flavor, arugula is well known for being rich in vitamin C and potassium. The Romans gave it prominence by considering it an aphrodisiac. The island of Ischia makes arugula into a specialty drink called rucolino, which is enjoyed after meals as a digestive. Who knew arugula had such an interesting history? It's definitely a vegetable that deserves more credit, beginning with this simple soup recipe.

Arugula Soup with Parmesan

Note: Be sure to wash the arugula in many changes of water to get rid of any grit. Dry the leaves in a salad spinner and remove any tough stems.

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 pound potatoes (about 2 medium), peeled and diced
6 cups chicken stock
1 small chunk Parmesan rind
1 pound mature arugula (2 to 3 large bunches), washed, spun dry, and torn into pieces
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
fine sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
grated Parmesan, for serving

Warm oil in a large pot set over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add potatoes, chicken stock, and Parmesan rind. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook, covered, until potatoes are knife tender, about 8 minutes.

Add arugula and cook until tender and dark green, about 8 minutes. Remove Parmesan rind and discard. Stir in mascarpone. Off from heat, purée the soup using an immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with grated Parmesan and drizzled with olive oil. Yield: 6 servings.

 

 

Joseph Erdos is a New York–based writer and editor, butabove all a gastronomer and oenophile. He shares his passion for foodon his blog, Gastronomer's Guide , which features unique recipes and restaurant reviews among many other musings on the all-encompassing topic of food.

 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Restaurant News

Pasteis de Belem
Europe
by Amy Sherman

portugal.jpg"I just returned from Lisbon and only have one thing to say - Belem Pasteis de Nata"

Thanks to a reader for reminding me of what is the can't miss taste of Lisbon. While there are wonderful...

Read more...
It's a Good B.A.D. Sandwich
Chicago
by Sue Doeden

5050fries.jpgIt hardly seemed like Fall on the day my favorite exploring partner and I strolled the streets of the Lincoln Park neighborhood in Chicago just two weeks ago. From our hotel on West Surf Street, a...

Read more...
The Nugget Diner
Las Vegas
by Scott R. Kline

thenugget.jpgThe Nugget Diner in Reno, Nevada represents much of what Reno is all about. From a run down strip near downtown Reno, one enters through the gaudy exterior, which portrays a nugget of gold...

Read more...
Bagels and Larry King
Los Angeles
by Anna Harari

larryking2.jpgLarry King is my spirit animal. When my brother and I were at El Rodeo Middle School and Beverly Hills High School, respectively, we would often ditch our morning classes and go instead for lox...

Read more...