Food waste is one of the greatest global ecological, social and humanitarian problems facing modern mankind. According to several studies, about a third of all food produced is simply thrown away! In Germany alone, around 11 million tons end up on landfills every year. That equates to around 138 kg of food waste per person. So is it any wonder that the Zero Waste Lifestyle has been gaining in popularity so quickly lately? One of his latest food trends is the so-called salad soup. It’s delicious, healthy, low in calories, nutritious and good for the environment too. Find out how you can prepare the popular salad soup yourself at home!
Anyone Can Cook Zero Waste – It’s easier than it looks
What is a salad soup anyway?
The term salad soup does not actually mean a single dish. Instead, it should be understood as a culinary idea.
First you prepare a fresh salad from seasonal and ideally regional ingredients. A hearty soup is then made from the leftovers and parts of the plant that would normally end up in the trash can.
This can e.g. This could be the outer, dark green leaves of lettuce, which, by the way, are more nutritious and healthier than the tender, inner leaves.
It is also possible to use ingredients that have already seen their “heyday”, are a bit wilted and would no longer look all that appetizing in a fresh salad. As long as the leafy greens have not turned brown and mushy, they are still edible.
A classic salad soup usually uses only vegan ingredients. However, this is not always the case and is by no means a must. A soup made from a Caesar salad, taco salad, or burger bowl can contain animal products like chicken, ground beef, cheese, and eggs. Any cream soup also benefits from a dash of milk, cream or butter. If you wish, you can of course omit all of these ingredients or replace them with vegetarian alternatives.
Sustainable and delicious recipe ideas without any food waste
Most of the nutrients are often found in the peel, which many cooks discard
Classic salad soup with leafy greens
If you’re looking for a last-minute lunch idea that the whole family will enjoy and that’s quick to serve, then this soup salad is absolutely perfect! It requires very little preparation and can be ready in less than 30 minutes.
It is believed that the food trend called salad soup started with the exact recipe below. It uses a lot of fresh and healthy ingredients that you probably already have at home, especially if you like to eat green salads often. In the end, the recipe turns out a delicious creamy soup with a rich green color and a pleasant herbal aroma.
Although lettuce is usually the star here, you can use or even mix and match many other types of leafy greens. Arugula, spinach, lamb’s lettuce, radicchio, watercress, endive, collards, kale, pak choi, carrot greens, wild lettuce such as dandelion, and edible flowers can be added. They all offer different aromas and flavors, so experiment and find what you and your family like best.
Each leafy vegetable tastes different, and also contains different nutrients
However, the original salad soup is only made with lettuce
For this salad soup you will need the following:
- 225g lettuce or mixed leafy greens of your choice
- 1 onion or a small bunch of spring onions (4-5 pieces)
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 500 ml vegetable, chicken or beef broth
- 60 ml milk or cream (can also be vegan)
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- A few cucumber slices
- A handful of frozen peas
- A small bunch of parsley
Step by step recipe instructions:
Heat some oil or butter in a saucepan. Roughly chop the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes until golden and caramelized. Clean the leafy greens, pluck, add and allow to collapse while stirring constantly.
Deglaze with broth, season with salt, pepper and lemon juice and simmer under the lid for 5-10 minutes. Blend until smooth with a hand blender and drizzle with milk. Garnish with croutons if you like. Enjoy your meal!
Leafy greens wilt very quickly and can burn easily, so stir well
Only the inedible stalk has to be removed from the lettuce
It is best to compost this instead of disposing of it
Alternative preparation method:
The consistency of a cream soup is not for everyone. If you prefer a structured salad soup with texture, you need to change up the preparation method a bit. Then do the following:
Halve the onion, then cut into thin half rings. press garlic. Halve the lettuce and cut lengthwise into thin strips. If you use additional leafy greens, cut them into bite-sized strips as well. Small-leaved vegetables such as B. Baby spinach, lamb’s lettuce or rocket can also remain whole.
If you want to make your soup extra nutritious, why not add leftover meat as well? Shred some fried or boiled chicken or crumble up some burger patties and add them to the veggies.
Sauté onion and garlic in butter or oil, then deglaze with broth. Bring to a simmer before adding the leafy greens and meat, if using. This way the delicate leaves will not wilt and will keep their texture. Simmer for about 5 more minutes, then serve.
The texture of this salad soup is similar to cabbage soup
It can also help you shed excess pounds just as well
Everyone can help reduce global food waste in their own home. Would you try a salad soup yourself? We hope that you will find our recipe ideas successful and that they taste good!
Delicious vegan salad soup with microgreens and coconut milk