July is the month of raspberries, tomatoes, beets, and so many other delightful goodies. It’s also the month of weeds. And if you’re a farmer or gardener, you will know this all too well.
It can be really hard to keep up with weeding around this time of year. As you can see in the above photo, my red cabbage patch was getting pretty smothered by lambsquarter. And while some might opt for a quick spray of herbicides to solve their weed problems, I believe the hours of labor using organic farming methods (ie: a hoe, or the best tool out there: human hands) are well worth the effort. Especially when you get to eat your weeds at the end of it all!
Have you had the pleasure of meeting lambsquarter before? If you’re a gardener, you’ve likely cursed it on more than one occasion. But did you know how delicious it is?
Lambsquarter is my favorite weed. I’ve been eating it since I was little because my mom was extremely fond of it. In French it’s called chou gras which, as a kid, I always used to confuse with foie gras. And while it might not be quite as delicious as foie gras (few things are), I absolutely love lambsquarter. In my opinion it tastes much better than spinach. In fact, it’s a great deal more nutritious than spinach, a true superstar green chock-full of vitamins and minerals.
I love to sauté lambsquarter in a little butter and garlic. I also love to make cream soups (veloutés) with it. This cream of lambsquarter soup is simple to make. If you don’t have lambsquarter, other vegetables can be substituted. Try broccoli, spinach, or cauliflower and make a deliciously creamy vegetable soup.
As someone once commented on another one of my ‘obnoxious weed’ recipes, if you can’t beat ‘em, EAT ‘EM! In other words, love your enemies.
Cream of Lambsquarter Soup
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 cups organic chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 pound unsprayed lambsquarter
- 1 cup light or 'half-and-half' cream
- Salt, pepper, and nutmeg, to taste
- In a heavy-bottomed medium pot, cook the onions in the butter, over medium-low heat until onions have softened (about 5 to 10 minutes). Add the flour and stir constantly, cooking for a minute. Add the chicken broth slowly, a little at a time, while whisking well to avoid the flour lumping. Simmer the soup for about 10 minutes or until thickened, whisking frequently.
- Add the lambsquarter, and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes or until lambsquarter is tender but has not lost its vibrant color. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
- Using a hand blender or a counter top blender, purée the soup until smooth and velvety.
- Return the soup to its saucepan, add the cream and return to heat. Bring the soup back up to temperature but do not boil after the cream has been added.
- Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste. Enjoy with warm crusty bread or croutons.
Yield: 6 servings
Aube Giroux is a food writer and filmmaker who shares her love of cooking on her farm-to-table blog, Kitchen Vignettes.
Aube is a passionate organic gardener and home cook who likes to share the stories of how food gets to our dinner plates. Her work has been shown on television and at international film festivals. Her web series was nominated for a 2014 James Beard Award. In 2012, she was the recipient of Saveur Magazine’s Best Food Blog award in the video category.