Pumpkin seed and arugula bisque

Pumpkin seed arugula soup

There’s something wrong with my refrigerator. It freezes the vegetables in my vegetable drawers. I’ve tried adjusting humidity and tampering with the temperature, but to no avail! But it turns out to be another one of those happy accidents, because my malfunctioning veg drawers started a short but winding path that resulted in this soup! I accidentally left a container of baby arugula and a head of red leaf lettuce at the bottom of one of the drawers. They didn’t stand a chance! As I looked at my clump of translucent, wilty greens (strangely pretty, as it happens) I immediately thought of soup meagre. It’s one of our favorite soups here at The Ordinary, and perfect for any damaged green thing you might have in your vegetable drawer.

Earlier in the week, whilst browsing in the bulk food section of the grocery store, as one does, these beautiful shiny green seeds caught my magpie eye. I had to have some! I’ve tried roasting pumpkin seeds every halloween, with the coating on, and they always turn out a little too tough to eat. Here was the tender core! Oh boy. Pepita. So pretty! I vaguely remembered that pepita are used in a certain kind of mole, so I hopped it back to the produce section and bought myself a jalapeno pepper.

Flash forward to the soup meagre. My one rule about soup meagre (and a very flexible rule it is, too!) is that everything that goes in there should be green. Well, guess what! Pepita are green! Jalapenos are green…can you see where this is going?

This turned out to be one of the better soups I’ve ever made. (And I’ve made a lot of soup!) The taste of pumpkin seeds is hard to describe. Nutty, savory, pleasant in every way! And they’re very good for you too, apparently! Full of iron, which is a big concern of vegetarian moms everywhere!

Here’s Pepita by Calexico.
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Soup Meagre

Soup Meagre is from the 18th century, and I don’t think there’s a definitive recipe, but to my knowledge (or in my imagination!) it’s a sort of hodgepodge of any green thing you can find. A spring tonic! Or, for my family this week, a fall tonic. There’s a lovely sort of cycle to the CSA that we belong to. It starts and ends with greens. Lots and lots of greens. Lettuces; spinach; arugula; wild, bitter little leaves. The autumn greens tend to be coarser and more bitter than the spring greens, but once you cook them they mellow out in no time. I think this is a pretty soup, and it’s surprisingly substantial, and wonderfully delicious. I always add yellow split peas, because they’re tasty, have a nice texture, and make a flavorful broth. But you can leave them out, or add any kind of legume you like.

Here’s Yo La Tengo’s beautiful Green Arrow, which sounds like a spring or fall evening, just at dusk.
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