Saturday, May 10, 2014

Aragula Soup - Soupe à la Roquette

Aragula ("roquette" in French) is a favorite green in our household. I don't know whether it was already common in the US in the late 80s  but I don't remember eating any in France growing up. Choices of greens for our salade verte were really limited to laitue, feuille de chêne, mâche et frisée (I promise to make frisée aux lardons one day - a favorite of my husband's but not something I ever ever enjoyed (even before I stopped eating meat)!)

Aragula is something I really discovered in the US and have come to love (unlike iceberg lettuce).
We could eat some everyday, especially when the other green options for our daily "salade verte"are iceberg lettuce or another unappealing romaine. 
We eat aragula just plain with a balsamic vinaigrette, or in my home-made improvised mix-greens salad or other salade composée, on a white pizza or in a sandwich! Although it sometimes touches warm food, I had never thought about making it into a soup until I realized a few months ago that, because I was traveling a lot (hence the absence of posts since Feb! Sorry....), we were not going to be able to eat the whole aragula before it would go bad (and yes, it does go bad relatively quickly, even when we purchase it in a clamshell container (I know, I know)), I would have to come up with a soup. It was freezing cold outside (we had a LLOOOOOONG winter this year) and I figured that I could pretty much cook it in a similar way as I do the Soupe au Cresson
Easy. Simple. Delicious. And a great success.
To be honest, between watercress and aragula soup, I prefer watercress (if and only if, this is wild watercress (or watercress that actually tastes like watercress! (I have been disappointed sooo many times here...))... but making this aragula soup is a good alternative. Whereas the taste of aragula that can be pungent when eaten raw, it becomes milder in the warm soup - making it an easy alternative for children for instance. 
I also think that this soup, or a slightly modified version of it, will be great served cold this Summer. Until then (I could eat hot soup every day), I know that I can go and purchase more aragula... we'll never run out of ideas (next on my list is aragula pesto (recipe anyone?)) to eat it all... Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (for 4 persons)
- aragula, washed and chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 potatoes, skin off and cubed
- salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil

  • In a pot (with lid), over medium-heat, saute the onion, garlic and potato in olive oil.
  • Add about 3 cups of water
  • Put the lid on and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
  • Immerse the aragula for two minutes
  • Blend thoroughly
  • Add salt and black pepper to taste .
  • Serve with crème fraîche, grated cheese, toasted bread.