Greeting spring with green soup

This soup is easy to make and bursting with bright flavors.

Greeting spring with green soup

Several years ago, my sister introduced me to possibly the most delicious broth I’d ever tasted. The recipe was from The Cancer Fighting Kitchen, by author and chef Rebecca Katz. Our mother was ill with cancer, so my sister simmered large vats of this delicious stock as we worked to produce palatable and nourishing offerings. The resulting broths developed a deeply layered and satisfying flavor that’s hard to describe. The soup did not cure our mother, but it did nourish her — and all of us, during the hardest period of our lives.

Recently, on a gray and damp day, I made a batch of soup inspired by another Rebecca Katz recipe. This one uses vegetable broth and is full of healthy greens, with lemon zest and pepper flakes for pop and potato for creaminess. I added juice from a lime as well to increase that tart zesty flavor. Once done, I contemplated the emerald green liquid in a bowl. I took a sip, expecting something “healthy tasting.” Instead, I was greeted by a burst of bright flavor, one that evoked springtime and sunshine. The soup is easy to make. The original recipe calls for collards and green chard. You can also easily add or replace it with kale, spinach, or any other green you prefer.

Rebecca Katz’s recipe also calls for her “Magic Mineral Broth,” a fantastic vegetable stock recipe for the more ambitious. In this version, I use store-bought vegetable broth, which is completely acceptable. Delicious, in fact.

Servings: 6


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large (or 2 small) Yukon gold potato, peeled and diced
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 6 to 7 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch collards, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch green chard, stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small bunch kale (any variety is fine), stemmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup loosely packed chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice


  1. In a Dutch oven or other soup pot, warm the olive oil.
  2. Add the onion, potato and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and sauté about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir for another 30 seconds. 
  3. Pour in 1/2 cup of the broth, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pot, and cook for a few minutes. 
  4. Add the collard greens, chard, kale and another 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the pot. Stir well to combine so that the greens begin to wilt. 
  5. Add the remaining broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. 
  6. In a blender, puree the soup in batches until very smooth, each time adding the cooking liquid first and then the greens mixture. (Or, use an immersion blender if you prefer.) Blend the parsley into the last batch. 
  7. Pour the soup back into the pot, heat gently, and stir in the lemon zest and juice, as well as the lime juice. Taste and serve!

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 154
  • Total fat: 9 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 307 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 15 g
  • Dietary fiber: 3 g
  • Total sugars: 2 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Potassium: 618 mg