You may be familiar with dandelion as a rampant weed that invades your backyard every Spring, but did you know they’re in fact packed with nutrients and make a great leafy green to feast on?
In France, dandelions bloom from April to June, and the leaves are widely enjoyed in salads, quiches and soups – revered for their health benefits and singular bittery taste. So when Spring comes in Canada, I have kept the habit of grabbing bunches of these big jagged-edged leaves.
This Dandelion Bread Soup makes great use of these prolific Spring greens, and offers a nice alternative to the classic green soups made of peas, zucchini or spinach. The addition of stale bread to it (an old French trick) makes it utterly creamy.
It is a simple, delicious and healthy-ish soup that screams Spring and will satisfy all your green cravings.
Before I leave you to it, I should mention that Dandelion greens pack a punch of bitter flavours – which may surprise you if you haven’t had it before. More “classic” greens (lettuce, spinach, or even arugula) are much milder in taste. Dandelion greens are quite bitter and peppery, and using a larger quantity of it (like in this soup) will result in a “powerful” taste. I personally love it, as I am fond of very strong, peppery flavours. But this may be a bit too much for some people.
- Early Spring (April) until June, you can find Dandelion leaves in grocery stores and farmers’ markets.
- As mentioned earlier, dandelion greens are bitter and peppery, which is why it is very important to blanch them for at least 30 minutes, to mellow the taste a little.
- If you’re scared this soup may be too bitter for you, you can switch ½ the amount of the dandelion greens with fresh spinach or sorrel.
- For finishing, you can add a spoonful of sour cream, Greek yogurt or Skyr, which will also mellow out the taste.
- This soup can be made with a Hand Blender or a Food Blender, such as Vitamix.
1 lb (450g) Dandelion greens, washed and trimmed (white root removed)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
300g stale bread (ie. French boule or Pain de Mie)
3 tbsp (45ml) extra virgin olive oil (+ extra for garnish)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper (+ extra for garnish)
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1.2L chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 tsp of salt. Add the dandelion greens and garlic cloves and boil for 30 minutes. Drain.
In a large pot, combine the dandelions greens, garlic cloves, crumbled stale bread, olive oil, lemon juice, ½ tsp black pepper, 1 tsp salt and nutmeg. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Blend (with a hand blender or food blender) until creamy and adjust seasoning if needed.
For serving, top with a drizzle of olive oil and black pepper.
If you try this Creamy Dandelion Bread Soup recipe let me know! Leave a comment or share a photo using #pardonyourfrench on Instagram. Bon Appétit!