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Sophie Dahl's Lettuce Soup


  • 2 heads of lettuce
  • 2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 2 cups of 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon of light brown sugar
  • 1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper
  • Crème fraîche or a pat of butter, to serve


  • Cut the lettuces into thin ribbons after giving them a thorough wash and discarding any tough leaves.
  • Put the lettuces in a pan with just enough stock to cover and gently simmer on a low heat, keeping a vigilant eye on them—there are few things nastier than charred, acrid lettuce!
  • Keep simmering and adding the stock until the greens are soft.
  • Add the peas and cook for another four minutes or so.
  • Take off the heat, cool for a minute or two, and then purée with care.
  • Return to the pan and, on a low heat, gently add the milk—less for a thicker soup, more for a lighter summery soup.
  • Add the brown sugar, a pinch of nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • If you are going to chill the soup, put it in the fridge, adding a teaspoon of crème fraîche to each bowl prior to serving. If eating hot, dot a tiny bit of butter on the top instead.