The Onion Grass is Always Greener

This spring has been a temperamental one, no doubt about it. Gardening ventures have been unsurprisingly stymied by unexpected cold fronts and unreliable rains. Even so, by mid-May, it’s reasonable to expect some sort of visible progress out there in the vegetable patch. Nearby friends boast impressive flowers and a few hearty vines, bearing the promise of a fruitful harvest soon to come. All we have are chives. But oh, what lush, long, and prolific chives we have! Shooting up faster than they can be mowed down, these edible weeds are beginning to present a real threat to the surrounding plant life. Choking off sunlight for the smaller sprouts while edging closer into their territory, they’re the only things that seem to be thriving in spite of the elements. Even after plucking a bushel of the slender green blades, a whole field still remains to be eaten, so it’s high time those chives get put to proper use. If the other seedlings are ever going to break through the earth, I had better start making space!

Initially whipping the fine onion grasses into a basic pesto formula, it dawned on me that I had no idea what to do with it next. Should I just spread it on bread and call it a day? Would it be better mixed into pasta? Still in the teeth of final exams, complicated preparations were out of the picture, which brought me to my favorite default option: Soup. Keep it chilled for those warmer days or throw it on the stove the next time a frost warning comes along, since it tastes just as bright, fresh, and comforting either way. The whole thing comes together in a matter of minutes, and since it utilizes a bare minimum of ingredients, it’s the perfect spring soup, no matter how pitiful the growing conditions.

Yield: Makes 3 - 4 Servings

Chive Pesto Soup

Chive Pesto Soup

Starting with chive pesto, adding liquid and vegetables turned this bright green blend into an ideal spring soup.


  • 2.5 Ounces Fresh Chives
  • 2 Tablespoons Prepared or Finely Minced Fresh Horseradish
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Sunflower Seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 3 – 5 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 3/4 – 2 Cups Vegetable Stock
  • 2 Cups Cooked Beans*
  • 1/2 – 3/4 Teaspoon Salt


  1. Snip the chives into short 1-inch lengths and toss them into your food processor. They need to be broken down somewhat before you start to blend, because I find that the long pieces will just wrap themselves around the motor without getting chopped otherwise. Add in the horseradish, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice as well.
  2. Pulse the machine repeatedly to combine. Pause to scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically, ensuring that everything gets incorporated.
  3. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture is emulsified and fairly smooth. It doesn’t need to be a perfect puree, since a bit of texture will add more body to the soup, but make sure there are no remaining whole seeds or long strands of chives remaining.
  4. At this point, you can transfer the pesto to a jar and save it for up to a week, if you’d like. To proceed with the soup, place it in a medium pot and whisk in 1 3/4 cups of the stock. Stir in the beans and salt, to taste.
  5. Adjust the amount of liquid if you’d like the soup to be slightly thinner. Either chill for 1 hour before serving for a more refreshing bowlful, or pop it on the stove for about 5 minutes to heat through, to serve it warm.


*I used one 12-ounce package of Trader Joe’s Melodious Blend, which includes green garbanzo beans, red lentils, and brown lentils. Any blend or single varietal will work just as well though! I would recommend either white beans or regular chickpeas as my second and third choices, personally.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 346Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2182mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 8gSugar: 12gProtein: 11g

19 thoughts on “The Onion Grass is Always Greener

  1. Hannah, this is crazy good!! I was just walking by my pathetic herb garden (that is waiting for me to give it some loving care) and noticed that my chives are really going to town! I said to whoever was with me at the time, and even if they were listening…that I wanted to get them picked and do something before it’s too late. And then here is an email from you the very next day with this lovely soup! Now I know what I’ll be making… my son won’t be happy about it… but I will be! Lovely post. Beautiful recipe!! :-)

  2. I’ll have to try this when we go to Wyoming where there are usually wild chives growing. But I’ll try it with plain, old store-bought chives first. Yum!


  3. This sounds delicious! So pretty and green too. I will probably try this with white beans…fresh herbs in soups are fantastic.

  4. This sounds so great. I am all about a green soup, and since I have eaten my fair share of asparagus soup, chive sounds like a perfect new flavor for the rest of spring.

  5. I love any kind of soup and especially soup with lots of the onion family in residence. Yummo and perfect for our cold weather here :)

  6. This greenish soup looks so delicious and vibrant with fresh chives and speaking of fresh horseradish, I just saw them at the market few days ago! I’ve been wondering what to do with fresh horseradish, and I love how there aren’t too many ingredients for your soup, just keep it minimal, simple and wholesome! Now I’m so tempted to make chive dumplings even though they aren’t Chinese chives at all.

  7. Such a wonderful colour, I wouldn’t know whether to eat it or stare at it fixedly (alright, I know, I’d down it by the bowlful, but you know what I mean!)

  8. What amazes me about these grass onions is how fast they come up! They are so tasty, and this soup sounds wonderful. Foraged food is fun food.

  9. I love, love, love chives— but never thought to put it in soup. Thanks for the great idea, and the lovely photos!

  10. I loved the title & of course, you added raw sunflower seeds,…I love them too, especially in this well-flavoured soup: yum yum yummmm! :) x

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