Creamy Red Butter Lettuce Soup

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Creamy Red Butter Lettuce Soup

We eat lots of soup at our house, all of it homemade. Commercial soups have too much salt for our heart-healthy diet and the low sodium soups I sampled from grocery stores always tasted, frankly, pretty awful.

This creamy red butter lettuce soup is easy to make and is a nice change from my usual rotation of leek and potato, lentil or split pea soup. The original recipe came from a Sunset magazine a few years back. I found some beautiful red butter lettuce at the market and decided to substitute it for the romaine suggested in their recipe. I admit to having some second thoughts about what color the soup would turn out to be. All green butter lettuce would definitely make a brighter colored soup, but we enjoyed its delicate flavor.

TIP: The nutmeg is a “must” ingredient, freshly grated if you can.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Creamy Red Butter Lettuce Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
An easy recipe for a creamy lettuce soup.
  • 2 large heads red butter lettuce (about 2 pounds total)
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green portions only
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • zest of 1 Meyer lemon - or any lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup cream or half and half
  • nutmeg (optional garnish)
  1. Separate the leaves from both lettuce heads. Wash and dry them. Roughly chop the leaves.
  2. Cut the leeks lengthwise, wash them and cut into horizontal slices.
  3. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large,heavy bottomed pot. Add the leeks, nutmeg, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the lettuce leaves and stock, cover pot and turn up heat until it comes to a boil. Lower heat, keep pot covered, and cook 1-2 minutes, just until lettuce leaves become tender.
  5. Using either an immersion or standing blender, purée the soup until smooth. Return to pot, if using a standing blender. Add the cream and cook over medium-low heat until heated through.
  6. Ladle into bowls, garnish with nutmeg and serve.


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20 Responses to Creamy Red Butter Lettuce Soup

  1. toni May 25, 2014 at 11:15 am #

    this looks so simple and perfect for a quick dinner.

    • Liz May 25, 2014 at 11:45 am #

      Thanks, Toni – we just had this for lunch. Enjoy the holiday –

  2. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious May 25, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

    Freshly grated nutmeg…..ALWAYS ALWAYS!

    • Liz May 25, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

      Great minds think alike, Dorothy –

  3. Wendy Read May 25, 2014 at 3:11 pm #

    Oh Liz! This looks delightful! I love soup too and your recipe looks too good to pass up. I’m going to pin in for later and we love freshly grated nutmeg too!

    • Liz May 25, 2014 at 5:33 pm #

      Thanks, Wendy – eat it as soon as you make it – color fades quickly.

  4. Lynda - TasteFood May 25, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

    How fresh and simple. I’ve never tried lettuce soup.

    • Liz May 25, 2014 at 6:03 pm #

      It was definitely an experiment, Lynda, but Larry tasted it and said, “Yum” – surprise.

  5. Jessie May 25, 2014 at 6:09 pm #

    Beautiful photo, Liz.

    • Liz May 26, 2014 at 9:34 am #

      Thanks, Jess –

  6. Carol Sacks May 25, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

    Gorgeous color! Intriguing recipe, too!

    • Liz May 26, 2014 at 9:35 am #

      I think it would be prettier with all green lettuce, Carol – but the red butter lettuce looked so fresh in the market.

  7. Jayne May 25, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    I love the smell of freshly grated nutmeg! I can imagine this soups delicate flavor. Nice picture!

    • Liz May 26, 2014 at 9:34 am #

      Thanks, Jayne – it was an experiment that worked OK.

  8. Stephanie Weaver, The Recipe Renovator May 28, 2014 at 10:11 am #

    In a million years I never would have thought to make soup from lettuce. This sounds great Liz.

    • Liz May 28, 2014 at 10:49 am #

      Thanks, Stephanie – very mild flavor but pretty good, especially in warm weather.

  9. Ani @afotogirl May 28, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    I have never heard of lettuce soup. Nor would it have occurred to me to use lettuce FOR a soup. This sounds really interesting and something I would like to try. 🙂

    • Liz May 28, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

      I wish I had you tutor me, Ani, on how to shoot soup – so difficult. Love your site –

  10. Jenny (VintageSugarcube) October 23, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    I am sooo intrigued and need to make that soup. I have never heard of lettuce in a warm creamy soup. YUM!

    • Liz October 24, 2014 at 11:59 am #

      It’s a pretty delicate-tasting soup, for sure – so glad to see you posting again, Miss Sugar Cube –

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