We’re officially nine days away from our move, and I feel as though I am living in a forest of cardboard. I’m having trouble remembering what and when we’ve eaten, which is very unlike me. I observed to a friend the other day that our meals have begun to resemble those eaten in college days, with random soup from the freezer poured over rice, or a sad veggie burger heated up in the microwave.
Most of my cookware has been bubble-wrapped and packed, but I still have a soup pot at the ready, and I am determined that the next week will include good food that is good for us.
Craving antioxidants, clean flavors and some low-fat goodness, I pulled this recipe out of my archive this morning to make for tonight’s dinner. This spinach soup is velvety, nutritious, and lovely served hot or cold. Garnish it simply with minced chives, or make it special with a tiny dollop of tofu sour cream stirred together with finely minced parsley and tarragon and a drop of lemon juice. This makes a beautiful and simple passed hors d’oeuvre when served in a demitasse or sake cup, and is highly restorative when eaten by the large bowlful.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 yukon gold potato, peeled and finely chopped
4 cups light vegetable stock
½ cup Italian parsley, leaves only, packed
1 ½ lbs. fresh spinach, tough ribs removed
Lemon juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper
Wash parsley and spinach well in several changes of cold water. Drain, roughly chop spinach, and set both aside.
In a large sauce pan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and carrot, and sauté until soft and translucent. Add vegetable stock and potato, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
Add spinach and parsley to pot, and return to a boil. Turn off heat, cover, and allow to stand for five minutes. Puree the soup, either using an immersion blender, or in batches in your blender (do be careful when using the blender – fill no more than halfway, remove the center piece of the lid, and top with a heavy towel. You don’t want a hot soup explosion!).
Taste soup, and adjust seasoning with a bit of lemon juice and hot sauce. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. If you are looking for perfect texture, you may wish to run the soup through a chinois or a fine mesh strainer at this point.
Serve immediately, or, to serve chilled, pour into a bowl set in an ice bath, stir until cool, and refrigerate until cold.