Sunday, March 09, 2008

Amazing Shrinking Spinach Soup

Yesterday we had something gooey and sweet. Today here's some soup that is souper healthy (sorry...couldn't resist). It's named for one of the properties of fresh spinach...that it shrinks down quite a bit in volume as it cooks...but maybe eating it will help me shrink into a bathing suit come summer and not look like I'm stuffed with Big Blondes.

Spring is inching it's way along toward us. Now we have started daylight savings time and, around here, the plum trees and almond trees are in blossom. Still the days can have a chill to them and the nights are cold.

This evening we had a simple supper of soup and salad. The soup was just right for a chilly evening. It was made from scratch, but didn't really take very long.

There is something satisfying in making spinach soup. A whole large colander of fresh spinach went into this soup. That may seem like a lot. While I was cutting piles of spinach leaves with a scissor into smaller pieces, it seemed like a lot. But once the leaves started steaming on top of the sauteed onions and garlic, the mass of leaves shrank down to a manageable lump, perfect for adding to the potato/broth combination.

This is an easy but filling soup, fresh tasting, savory and light. You can also make it with a 10 oz. package of frozen chopped spinach that has been thawed...that would be far quicker. Additions can be the quick garnish of non-fat sour cream and a sprinkle of cayenne that I did, or you can add cubed chicken or turkey, or crumbled cooked bacon, or slices of cooked Italian sausage for a little more protein.

Amazing Shrinking Spinach Soup
Serves 2-4

5 medium red potatoes, cut into 1 inch dice
1 can low sodium chicken broth
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grapeseed or olive oil
1 large colander washed fresh baby spinach leaves (about 8 cups)

In a saucepan, boil the red potatoes in enough water to cover until tender. Drain. Return to the pot and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add the can of low sodium chicken broth and warm over low heat.

While the potatoes are cooking, saute the onion in the grapeseed oil in a frying pan or skillet until the onion is translucent, about 3-5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute, stirring to keep the garlic from burning.

Turn off the heat under the onion mixture. Pile up 8-10 spinach leaves in your hand and, with kitchen shears, slice the spinach into chunks about 1/2 to 3/4 inches in size. Repeat until all of the spinach is piled up over the onion mixture. Turn on the heat under the onion mixture to high. Add 1/2 cup of hot water to the pan and cover. Let the spinach steam for 3-4 minutes until leaves are cooked, but still a not-very-dark green. Stir the onion mixture and spinach together. Add this mixture to the potato/broth mixture and stir. Turn heat up to medium and cover. Heat for 2-3 minutes.

When heated through, use a stick blender to liquefy the soup ingredients so that it is still a bit chunky, but all of the ingredients have been blended together. Alternately, put half of the soup in a blender or food processor and process, stopping while mixture is still a bit chunky. Repeat with the other half of the soup, then heat it all until mixture begins to bubble.

Serve hot, garnished with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of cayenne.

4 comments:

Patricia Scarpin said...

It does look souper healthy, Elle! :)

I love spinach but have never tried it in soups, gotta try it soon!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I have just such a huge container of spinach (3 lbs.) in the fridge but I have a use for it.
Love the soup!

Elle said...

Patricia, Great pun :) Spinach makes a great soup, but you can also do the same sort of thing with broccoli and asparagus. Sweetie made some similar to this recipe last night with broccoli and sweet potato, plus carrots. Yummy!

Tanna, my inspiration was a large bag of spinach from Costco...so much to use.

Elle said...

Patricia, Great pun :) Spinach makes a great soup, but you can also do the same sort of thing with broccoli and asparagus. Sweetie made some similar to this recipe last night with broccoli and sweet potato, plus carrots. Yummy!

Tanna, my inspiration was a large bag of spinach from Costco...so much to use.