- 2 iceberg lettuces, quartered and with hard core removed
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 50 g/2 oz. /4 tbsps. butter
- 125 g/ ½ cup trimmed and chopped spring onions/scallions
- 1 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp. plain/all-purpose flour
- 600 ml/1 pint/2 ½ cups chicken stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 150 ml/ ¼ pint/ 2/3 cup single/light cream
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper or to taste
- thick slices stale ciabatta bread
- parsley sprigs, to garnish
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and blanch the lettuce leaves for 3 minutes. Drain and dry thoroughly on absorbent paper towels, then shred with a sharp knife.
Heat the oil and butter in a clean saucepan and add the lettuce, spring onions/scallions and parsley and cook together for 3-4 minutes until very soft.
Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, then gradually pour in the stock, stirring throughout. Bring to the boil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes until soft.
Allow the soup to cool slightly, then either sieve or puree in a blender. Alternatively, leave the soup chunky. Stir in the cream, add more seasoning to taste, if liked, then add the cayenne pepper.
Arrange the slices of ciabatta bread in a large soup dish or in individual bowls and pour the soup over the bread. Garnish with parsley sprigs and serve immediately.