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

Restaurant News

Adams Avenue Grill - San Diego
Southern California
by Kitty Kaufman

Adams Ave 3The whole Friday night crowd is out in University Heights. Good thing we reserved at Adams Avenue Grill. This is really something: they start at 8 am and serve lunch until 2 and open at 5 for...

La Duni Love
by Haley Schultheis

1.-la-duniOne of my favorite places to satiate my sweet tooth is La Duni in Dallas. La Duni Latin American café and bakery has several locations. Not only is the atmosphere feminine and romantic, the...

Al Duello: My First Night in Rome
by Rachel Rader

al-duello-roma-italia.jpgI just spent my first night in Rome and wanted to share my dinner from last night. It was at Al Duello, a place a friend recommended. It was absolutely incredible.

It's a cute little place off a...

Northgate Soda Shop
by Scott R. Kline

northgateinterior.jpgThe Northgate Soda Shop in Greenville, South Carolina proved an elusive target for a burger. But one can never keep a good burger seeker down.

Our trip across South Carolina continued as we...