Recipe: Cream of Purslane Soup

Cream of purslane soup

For my next foray into eating purslane, I decided to try soup. I was actually thinking of something similar to a broth-based cabbage soup, but when I found this one, I just had to try it. I love “cream of” type soups (I was a cream of tomato junkie for a great many years) for their silky texture and satisfying fat load, so this recipe looked like something I could really get into. As always, I’ve modified it to ingredients I had on hand and my particular tastes. This recipe serves about 4.

Recipe: Sautéed Purslane Tacos

Sautéed purslane mix topped with sour cream and salsa and served with sliced steak

The first purslane recipe I actually tried was a suggestion by Carolyn Niethammer: purslane tacos. I adapted things to my preferences and what I had on hand, but since I don’t eat grain, it wound up more like sautéed fajita vegetables. In any case, it was very good, and I ended up eating exactly the same thing for 3 different meals on 3 consecutive days. (Since I’m the only one at my house who eats the way I do, I get the leftovers too.) The recipe below serves about 4.

Getting Started: Harvesting and Preparing Purslane

Purslane growing "wild" in my yard border

So you’re thinking that you may actually try eating some purslane. What should you expect? Really, it’s not that strange. The taste is somewhere between watercress and spinach. Eaten raw, the leaves are quite succulent, though the stems can be a be slightly mucilaginous (slimy like okra) if not cooked. I don’t mind it, but then I also have no problem with okra, flax seed or chia seed either. When cooked, it becomes a soft vegetable with a texture similar to cooked cabage.

But before moving on to actual recipes for purslane, I want to take a minute to explain its harvesting and preparation.

Weeds 2: The Return of Purslane

Purslane growing wild

Each year, as the heat of summer mounts, an insidious invader hidden barely beneath the earth’s surface, breaks forth from its long slumber and creeps its way to the surface. Once it has broken free, it spreads its red and green tendrils across the surface of every inch of exposed ground, choking the life from all growing things in its path. By the time this unfathomed menace imposes itself on your notice, it is too late to stop it. Hundreds of tiny pods bearing thousand of tiny seeds are poised to erupt and sow themselves to the wind, bringing untold misery to everyone you know and love. You are all now condemned to battle this monstrous minion of mayhem to the end of your short, mortal life.

Or something like that. But probably not.

Emotionally Intelligent Advertising

Box of beef-ish

I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for animation, especially animation done right. I’m a very visual person (aren’t we all, these days), and few things are as impactful as great art. I also really identify with good music, but I want something with emotional depth, like popular classical pieces or American standards or especially live musical theater. So why am I going on about art and music? Because I recently ran into a couple of animated shorts that really had an impact on me.

The Purpose and Value of Weeds

Teaching my family about wild edible and medicinal plants growing in the front yard.
The Earth seems to have an extreme need to be covered, so weeds are Nature’s answer to bare or disturbed soil. The trick is to accept that and work it to your advantage, instead of fighting a battle you can’t win, at least not without resorting to chemical warfare.