Salubrious Parsley Soup

Parsley soup

The other day my friend Laura asked me if I’d ever made anything with parsley as the main ingredient. Guess what! I had just bought a large bunch of Italian parsley! Strange, right? I don’t usually buy parsley, for some reason. I enjoy it when it comes in our CSA box, but I usually pass it over at the store, in favor of it’s showier cousin, cilantro. But I’d been craving parsley. Something about the fresh green flavor seemed perfect for the time of year. So Laura’s question was very well-timed. I thought of a lot of different types of things I could make, which I will eventually. But for some reason my mind kept wandering back to tabouli. I thought of a sort of soup, with a clear, clean broth. One of those garlicky, lemony broths that people eat when they’re not feeling well. With flecks of parsley floating in it, and with herbily seasoned bulgur on the side, that you could add to your taste. So that’s what I made. I tried to keep it simple, and I was worried that it wouldn’t have enough flavor, but my son said it had too strong a flavor, so … who knows! I seasoned the broth with thyme and basil and the bulgur with zatar herbs and sesame seeds.

Here’s Lee Perry & Niney with Chase Them Down With Garlic.

for the bulgur…

1 cup bulgur
2 T olive oil
1 t sesame seeds (I used black)
1 t oregano
1 t thyme
salt and plenty of black pepper
1 1/2 cups water
1 T butter (optional)

Warm the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and herbs, and cook till they’re a little sizzly. Add the bulgur, and cook till it starts to smell toasty.

Add the water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes (make sure you don’t burn it, if it should dry out too fast!). Then take it off the heat and leave it covered while you prepare everything else.

For the soup…

2 T olive oil
1 shallot – briefly processed, so that it’s finely chopped, but not puréed.
2 cloves garlic – minced (or processed in the same fashion as the shallot)
1 t basil
1 t thyme
1 t red pepper flakes (or to taste)
2 cups parsley leaves, washed and processed so that they’re well-chopped but not puréed.
1 cup grape tomatoes, chopped
2 T maple syrup
2 t tamari
1 t tomato paste
juice of one lemon (or to taste)
1 T butter (optional)
salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper.

Warm the olive oil in a large soup pot on medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic, the pepper flakes and the thyme and basil. Cook till the shallot starts to brown. Add the maple syrup, tamari and tomato paste. Cook till everything is heated through. Add about 4 cups of water and the parsley. Stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add the tomatoes, and simmer until the tomatoes are wilted. Maybe fifteen minutes. You want the taste to develop, but you don’t want to overcook the parsley.

Add the lemon and plenty of salt and pepper.

Serve with the bulgur on the side, so people can add just as much as they like. I thought this might be nice with feta crumbled on top, as well.

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6 thoughts on “Salubrious Parsley Soup

    • I would have just sprinkled it over the top. But I’ve wondered in the past about stirring it in – feta or goat cheese. I’ll have to try it and see how it goes!

      Did you make a parsley soup yet?

  1. Parsley is the main ingredient in tabouleh salad, which my friend Lillian says is the healthiest food in the world — and the tastiest.

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