Meyer Lemon Soup

Meyer-Lemon-Soup

Meyer Lemon Soup is made with freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice, fresh sprigs of rosemary and cream for a bowl full of sunshine to brighten your gray winter days.  

While the rest of the country is bracing for snow storms or cleaning up after them, California cooks are preparing for an overabundance of Meyer lemons. Right now it’s Meyer lemon season and the farmers’ market bin and grocery produce aisles are spilling over with lemons and I’m trying to work them into as many recipes as I can. One of my favorite Meyer lemon recipe is a Meyer lemon cake and I have plans to bake more desserts sprinkled with Meyer lemon zest, but this time I wanted to incorporate them into something savory. I know — #californiaproblems, just like endless days of sunshine. Those two things are definitely on my list of top ten favorite problems to have. Two more: having lavender and rosemary on almost every corner (at least in the Bay Area).  

So what do you do with all of these Meyer lemons? There’s only so much lemonade you can drink, so my lemons took a warm turn this winter. And by winter, I mean temperatures bottoming out at 51℉ accompanied by a few clouds. So you kind of have to adjust your soup expectations. While chilies and stews are enjoyed, they aren’t imperative to warm you for the next four months in California. And because you don’t need an extra layer of fat to get you to May, hearty soups aren’t necessary, either. Basically, what winter soup is to California is a spring soup to the rest of the country and Meyer lemons are suited for this type of soup.Rosemary-Meyer-Lemon-Soup

Aside from the lemons, rosemary is the supporting herb that gives this soup character. It’s probably my favorite herb and I didn’t really get intimate with it until I moved to San Francisco. It’s EVERYWHERE. It’s nearly impossible for me to walk by a rosemary bush without stopping to smell it — I can’t resist it. It incites an instant smile and it brings me just as much joy to cook with it. For this recipe, I toast it in a skillet before adding it to the soup. Its pineyness animates the lemon juice and gives each bite shape that’s uncommon with light, spring soups.

To give it slight heft, I included lightly roasted baby bella mushrooms and cauliflower because I like vegetables 🙂 Cauliflower is a mild Brassica that blends well with the lemon without destroying its edible integrity. Together, the mushrooms and cauliflower make this a substantial soup.

A few recipe notes:

Broth: I don’t identify as vegetarian, but I don’t eat very much meat, chicken or fish. I do, however, use chicken broth in this recipe, but it can easily be replaced with vegetable broth.
Roasted Mushrooms: And because there’s no meat in this, I lightly roasted the mushrooms before cutting them up to dry them out which gives them a meaty texture.
Baking Soda: Baking soda is added to this soup. It sounds really weird, but it’s totally necessary. Without the baking soda, this soup is very lemony in a sour, puckery way. The baking soda neutralizes the acid and makes it lively instead of scary.
Cornstarch: Because there is cream in this soup, it needs the cornstarch to make it creamy. By adding a cornstarch slurry (1 TB of cornstarch mixed with just enough water to flatten any lumps), the soup is slightly thickened without having to add too much dairy.
Slight Variations: I’ve made this with both Israeli couscous and orzo pasta — both are great with this, but I prefer topping it with croutons. 

While Greek lemon soup might be what’s expected, this is not avgolemono. It’s a taste of California — a little sunshine for your wintry bowl.

Ingredients:Meyer-Lemon-Recipes

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 ½ cups baby bella mushrooms, lightly roasted and cut in medium dice.
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup Meyer lemon juice (about six small Meyer lemons)
  • 1 ½ cups cauliflower, cut into small (bite-sized) pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, toasted
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 TB cornstarch + 2 tsp water

Directions:

  1. In a 3-qt. saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add shallots and saute until soft and translucent.
  3. Add mushrooms and continue to saute until most of the water is cooked out of the mushrooms, about seven minutes. Meyer-Lemon-Soup
  4. Add the chicken broth followed by the lemon juice. Meyer-Lemon-Soup
  5. Add the cauliflower followed by the rosemary and salt.Meyer-Lemon-Soup
  6. Add the baking soda and let it bubble up and calm down before you stir it.Meyer-Lemon-Soup
  7. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for five minutes.
  8. Stir in the cream and bring it back to a simmer for another three minutes before stirring in the cornstarch slurry.Meyer-Lemon-Soup

Meyer Lemon Soup Meyer-Lemon-Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 ½ cups baby bella mushrooms, lightly roasted and cut in medium dice.
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup Meyer lemon juice (about six small Meyer lemons)
  • 1 ½ cups cauliflower, cut into small (bite-sized) pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, toasted
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 TB cornstarch + 2 tsp water

Directions:

  1. In a 3-qt. saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Add shallots and saute until soft and translucent.
  3. Add mushrooms and continue to saute until most of the water is cooked out of the mushrooms, about seven minutes. 
  4. Add the chicken broth followed by the lemon juice. 
  5. Add the cauliflower followed by the rosemary and salt.
  6. Add the baking soda and let it bubble up and calm down before you stir it.
  7. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for five minutes.
  8. Stir in the cream and bring it back to a simmer for another three minutes before stirring in the cornstarch slurry.

 Yield: 2 quarts (4 servings)

Meyer-Lemon-Soup

Advertisements

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Bea says:

    I just made a gorgeous Jeni’s lemon frozen yoghurt recipe which would be so nice with Meyer lemons 🍋. I’ll send it to you.

    Thanks for your post.

Leave a Reply to Bea Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.