Anna Thomas' Green Soup: How Green Soup Became a Way of Life

By Anna Thomas, "The Soup for Life," September/October 2011

Cookbook author Anna Thomas reveals the inspiration behind her healthy green soup recipes.

"LOVE IT!!!!!! The Perfect Green Soup is wonderful! I only wish I could get others to eat it. I feel so virtuous when I eat it because I know I'm doing something VERY good for my body. Thank you for this delicious recipe. "

Many pots of soup later, I wrote about green soup for the Los Angeles Times, and the avalanche was unleashed. E-mails—a trickle, then a flood. I love that green soup… I used to make one with turnip greens… my version has broccoli… I lived on parsley soup all through graduate school… The world loved green soup and wanted to talk about it. I’d never had such an outpouring of responses. Some of the messages had a positively religious fervor. Green soup is in the house. Hallelujah!

I probably cooked forty or fifty different green soups over the next decade, posting the recipes on my website. The e-mails kept coming. When I began writing my soup book, Love Soup, I realized I’d have to have a chapter devoted to green soups. Then I realized that one chapter wouldn’t be enough. I wound up with one for fall and winter soups, one for spring and summer. And new inspirations for green soup keep on coming.

The green soups here include my newest and take green to another level—into the exotic scent of green curry, the hearty pairing with Le Puy lentils, the luxury of spinach and chevre in a bisque and the pure rustic pleasure of Baker’s Pasta, which is loaded with parsley, walnuts and garlic, re-imagined as soup. Green, green—not so much a soup as a way of life


Anna Thomas wrote her first cookbook, The Vegetarian Epicure (1972), while she was a film student at UCLA. It was a phenomenal success and remains a classic today. Her latest book, Love Soup, won the 2010 James Beard award for best Healthy Focus cookbook.

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