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30-Minutes Slovak Lettuce Soup – A Delightful Taste Of Cuisine

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Embark on a culinary journey to Eastern Europe with our Slovak Lettuce Soup, a unique and delectable dish that transforms humble lettuce into a star. This velvety soup is a beautiful blend of fresh, crisp lettuce leaves and creamy potatoes, simmered to perfection in a rich, flavorful broth. Seasoned with dill and other savory herbs, this comforting soup is a delightful combination of textures and tastes that will transport you straight to the heart of Slovakia with every delicious spoonful. A true hidden gem!

With roots nestled deep in the heart of Central Europe, the humble yet heartwarming Slovak Lettuce Soup quietly commands its place on the culinary stage. This delicate, verdant delight transcends conventional soup expectations, introducing you to a palate-enriching journey. 

Slovak Lettuce Soup

Intricately woven into Slovakia’s rich tapestry of culinary traditions, this soup offers an alluring blend of familiar comfort and exotic allure, often overlooked by mainstream food culture. Every spoonful evokes the tranquility of Slovak kitchens, where this soup has warmed generations. 

Fresh, crisp lettuce, carefully selected from the garden’s bounty, simmers gently alongside carefully curated ingredients, unveiling an unexpected depth of flavor. 

This isn’t just a soup; it’s a testament to the culinary ingenuity of Slovak home cooks, a signature of their cuisine that is both nourishing and profoundly comforting. Indulge in this story, savor the enchanting tale of the Slovak Lettuce Soup, and discover a hidden gem that’s bound to captivate your taste buds.

What Is Slovak Lettuce Soup?

Slovak Lettuce Soup, known as “šalátová polievka” in Slovak, is a traditional dish from Slovakia, a Central European country. This soup uses lettuce as a primary ingredient, a surprising choice for those more accustomed to salads.

Preparation usually begins with simmering onions, garlic, and sometimes diced potatoes in a stock – typically chicken or vegetable – until they’re tender. Fresh, chopped lettuce is then added and cooked until wilted. 

The soup might be thickened with a roux or egg yolk and cream mixture, depending on the recipe. The result is a light yet flavorful soup, with the lettuce imparting a distinct, slightly sweet, unique, and refreshing flavor.

Seasonings are kept simple, allowing the lettuce flavor to shine. Some cooks add fresh herbs such as dill or parsley, and it’s often served with a squeeze of lemon juice to brighten the flavors. This traditional soup offers a delightful, unexpected way to enjoy lettuce and a taste of Slovak cuisine.

Slovak Lettuce Soup recipe

Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients?

  • Other Greens: Instead of iceberg lettuce, you could use other types of lettuce like romaine or butterhead. You might even experiment with spinach, kale, or chard for a different flavor and nutrient profile.
  • Protein Additions: For a heartier soup, consider adding protein like shredded chicken, cubed tofu, or even a poached egg on top.
  • Vegetables: Feel free to add other vegetables such as peas, carrots, or potatoes.
  • Herbs and Spices: While dill is traditional, other herbs like parsley, chives, or basil could add a unique twist. Spices like paprika or a dash of cayenne could introduce a warm, smoky flavor or a kick of heat.
  • Cream: If you like a creamier soup, you could add a splash of cream or a dollop of Greek yogurt at the end.
  • Lemon: A squeeze of fresh lemon juice before serving can brighten the flavors.
Slovak Lettuce Soup

Recipe Directions

  • To prepare Slovak Lettuce Soup, start by melting butter in a pot, and then add flour to create a roux, stirring until it turns golden. 
  • Gradually whisk in water or chicken broth, followed by milk, ensuring a smooth, lump-free mixture. 
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer, then add your chopped iceberg lettuce. 
  • Cook until the lettuce wilts and becomes tender.
  • Add sugar, vinegar, and chopped fresh dill—season with kosher salt and fresh black pepper. 
  • Allow the soup to simmer for a while so the flavors meld together. Adjust the seasoning to your taste.
  • The result is a light yet savory soup, with the unique flavor of lettuce shining through and complemented by the tang of vinegar and the freshness of dill. 
Slovak Lettuce Soup recipe

Variations, Add Ons, And Toppings 

Variations

  • Type of Greens: Use different types of lettuce or even spinach, chard, or kale for a unique twist.
  • Broth: Experiment with vegetable or beef broth instead of chicken for a different flavor.
  • Spices: Introduce a dash of paprika, cayenne, or crushed red pepper flakes for a hint of warmth or heat.

Add-ons

  • Proteins: Make the soup heartier with some shredded chicken, diced ham, or cubed tofu.
  • Vegetables: Add more veggies like diced carrots, peas, or potatoes for additional texture and nutrients.
  • Legumes: A handful of cooked white beans or chickpeas can add a pleasing bite and increase the protein content.

Toppings

  • Herbs: Aside from dill, garnish with fresh parsley, chives, or basil for an added layer of flavor.
  • Cheese: A sprinkle of shredded cheese like cheddar, parmesan, or a dollop of ricotta can add a lovely richness.
  • Croutons: Homemade croutons can add a pleasing crunch and a way to soak up the flavorful broth.
  • Cream or Yogurt: A drizzle of cream or a spoonful of Greek yogurt can give a creamy finish.
Slovak Lettuce Soup recipe

Can I Make Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot?

Slow Cooker

This method is ideal for developing flavors over a longer period. To do so, melt the butter in a pan, make your roux with flour as usual, and then transfer it to the slow cooker. Add your water or chicken broth, milk, chopped lettuce, sugar, vinegar, and dill—season with salt and pepper. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Check the seasoning before serving and adjust as needed.

Instant Pot

This method is quicker and delivers a flavorful soup. Use the Sauté setting for butter melting and create a roux with the flour. Slowly add the water, broth, and milk as the sametime stirring well to avoid lumps. 

Then add the lettuce, sugar, vinegar, and dill. Secure the lid and set to pressure cook on high for about 10 minutes. Allow natural release—season with salt and pepper before serving.

Lettuce Soup

Can I Use Store Bought Broth Or Should I Make My Own?

Homemade Broth

If you have the time and ingredients, homemade broth often has a deeper, richer flavor that can enhance the taste of your soup. It also allows you to control the amount of sodium and avoid preservatives or additives that can be found in some store-bought versions.

Store-bought Broth

This is a convenient option, especially when you’re short on time. Look for low-sodium versions so you can control the saltiness of your soup. Quality can vary, so try a few brands to find one you like.

soup recipe

How To Serve?

  • Temperature: This soup is best served hot, straight from the stovetop. Ladle it into pre-warmed bowls to keep it from cooling too quickly.
  • Garnish: Enhance the soup’s visual appeal and flavor with garnishes such as fresh dill, a swirl of cream, or a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan. Croutons or a side of crusty bread can add a delightful textural contrast.
  • Accompaniments: Slovak Lettuce Soup is light, so consider serving it as a starter before a main course, or pair it with a hearty sandwich or salad for a balanced meal.
  • Reheating: If you have leftovers or made the soup in advance, reheat it gently on the stovetop over medium-low heat until just hot enough to serve. This will help maintain the soup’s texture and flavor.
  • Serve Immediately: After reheating or cooking, serve the soup immediately to enjoy its full range of flavors. This also applies to any added garnishes — add them just before serving to ensure they’re fresh and vibrant.
Slovak Lettuce Soup recipe

Perfect Side Dishes

  • Crusty Bread: A loaf of fresh, crusty bread or warm baguette slices are perfect for dipping into the soup and adding a comforting element to the meal.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich: A gooey grilled cheese sandwich would be a delightful companion, adding a satisfying, savory richness that pairs well with the soup’s lightness.
  • Green Salad: A simple, fresh green salad with a tangy vinaigrette can complement the soup, particularly if you want a light, healthy meal.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Seasonal roasted vegetables offer a heartier, flavorful side that can balance the light soup.
  • Quiche: A slice of quiche or frittata, possibly with vegetables or cheese, could complement the soup, adding protein and making the meal more substantial.
  • Savory Muffins: For a twist, try serving with delicious muffins, like cheese or spinach muffins, for a nice contrast in flavor and texture.
Slovak Lettuce Soup

Storage & Make Ahead

  • Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stove, adding a splash of broth if needed to thin it out.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the soup base ahead of time, excluding delicate ingredients like lettuce. Store it in the fridge or freezer. When ready to serve, reheat the base and add fresh lettuce just before serving to maintain its texture and vibrant color.
  • Enhance Flavor: Let the flavors meld by allowing the soup to sit for a few hours before serving. Adjust seasoning as needed before serving.
Slovak Lettuce Soup

What Can We Do With Leftovers?

  • Reheat and Eat: The simplest solution is to reheat and enjoy the soup as is. Remember to heat it gently on the stove until it’s hot but not boiling.
  • Add Proteins: Add some protein to make a more substantial meal from the leftovers. Cooked chicken, tofu, or even some cooked beans could be added to the soup to create a fuller meal.
  • Add Grains: Cooked grains like rice, barley, or quinoa could be stirred into the reheated soup for added texture and nutritional value.
  • Make a Casserole: You could even use the soup as a base for a casserole. Add some cooked vegetables or protein, top with cheese or breadcrumbs, and bake until bubbly and browned.
  • As a Sauce: Depending on the consistency of the soup, you might also use it as a sauce over cooked pasta or grains.

TIPS

  • Choose Fresh Lettuce: Opt for crisp, fresh lettuce for the best flavor and texture in your soup.
  • Sauté Aromatics: Enhance depth by sautéing onions and garlic until golden brown before adding other ingredients.
  • Simmer Slowly: Allow the soup to simmer gently to develop rich flavors and ensure the vegetables are tender.
  • Blend Smoothly: For a velvety texture, use an immersion blender or countertop blender to puree the soup until smooth.
  • Finish with Cream: Add a touch of cream or sour cream at the end for a luxurious finish and added richness.
30-Minutes Slovak Lettuce Soup - A Delightful Taste Of Cuisine

30-Minutes Slovak Lettuce Soup – A Delightful Taste Of Cuisine

0 from 0 votes
Course: Soup Recipes
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Calories

200

kcal

To prepare Slovak Lettuce Soup, start by melting butter in a pot, and then add flour to create a roux, stirring until it turns golden. Gradually whisk in water or chicken broth, followed by milk, ensuring a smooth, lump-free mixture. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then add your chopped iceberg lettuce. Cook until the lettuce wilts and becomes tender.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons 3 Butter

  • 4 + 1 tsp 4 Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

  • 2-1/2 Cups 2-1/2 Water or Chicken Broth

  • 2-1/2 Cups 2-1/2 Milk (1% used in example)

  • 1 Head 1 Iceberg Lettuce, chopped into bite-size pieces

  • 2 Tablespoons 2 Granulated Sugar

  • 5 Tablespoons 5 Distilled White Vinegar

  • 2 Tablespoons 2 Fresh Dill, chopped (plus extra for garnish)

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 Kosher Salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 Fresh Black Pepper

Step-By-Step Directions

  • Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Stir in the flour until a paste forms, stirring for a minute for cooking out the raw flour taste.
  • Whisk in the water or chicken broth, completely incorporating all the additions to prevent lumps.
  • Please do the same with the milk, whisking constantly to combine it with the flour mixture.
  • Add the chopped lettuce to the pot, stirring to combine. It will first look like a lot of lettuce but wilt significantly as it cooks
  • Stir in the sugar, vinegar, chopped dill, salt, and pepper.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook for about 20 minutes until the lettuce is completely wilted and the flavors melded together.
  • Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with fresh dill.
  • Serve hot, and enjoy!
  • EQUIPMENT LIST
  • Large Pot Or Dutch Oven
  • Sharp Knife And Cutting Board
  • Measuring Cups And Spoons
  • Ladle
  • Whisk

Notes

  • Flour: The flour in this recipe helps thicken the soup. Be sure to cook the flour well with the butter to remove the raw flour taste.
  • Lettuce: It may seem like a lot of lettuce initially, but it will wilt significantly as it cooks. Don’t be tempted to reduce the amount.
  • Seasoning: Always taste your soup before serving and adjust the seasonings if needed. You may find you prefer more vinegar for tartness, or more sugar for sweetness.
  • Stirring: Stir the soup occasionally as it simmers to ensure the ingredients are well mixed and nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
  • Dill: Use fresh dill if you can, as it provides a much brighter and fresher flavor compared to dried.

Nutrition Table

nutrition table

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