Bloomsbury Lettuce Soup

I have returned to my Jans Ondaatje Rolls’ Bloomsbury Cookbook and decided this time on lettuce soup. I have never had lettuce soup and thought it sounded bland and boring. I had to try it. This is a recipe from Francis Partridge’s collection.

Frances worked in David Garnett’s London bookshop and met many of the Bloomsbury Group as a result. She was very close to Ralph Partridge (and married him) and to Lytton Strachey. She went to Cambridge and earned her titular degree (she was a woman so she couldn’t get the full degree). She became an author with the publication of her diaries which earned her a CBE for her outstanding literary achievement.

I assume that she liked lettuce soup.

Here are the ingredients:

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Lettuce, butter, double cream, chopped onion, black pepper, salt and thyme. That’s it.

The method was vague with no quantities and no timing. So, I just guessed.

Take the leaves and cook gently in butter. Add water, cream or milk. Add thyme and chopped onion. Season and put through blender.

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I decided to fry the onion first. Then I added the lettuce leaves. Then the thyme and the cream.

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Then I blended and served. Easy. Delicious.

I was really surprised. Instead of it being the colourless and flavourless soup that I expected, it was a lovely mottled green with a very fresh flavour and a nicely thick consistency. It was very nice; much nicer that I thought it would be.

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