Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Green Soup

On the first day of the New Year, I: 

- Ate leftover risotto for breakfast, a savory breakfast win in a fit of "waste not, want not" leftover madness
- Went sledding with my son, bombing down the hill on my butt 
- Painted a bathroom and a hallway (with lots of kind assistance from my husband)
- Cleaned and semi-organized my pantry. Yes, this is the AFTER picture, in case you were wondering...controlled chaos. 

An excellent start to 2013, I dare say. And then I made a pot of green soup. Looks odd, but totally delicious, and nourishing down to the marrow of your bones. Think of it as jumpstarting the new year with real good goodness. 

Soup is a point of contention in our household.  I love soup, especially brothy, vegetably, beany soups that can be classified as salad in a ladle. Meanwhile, my dear spouse is more of a knife-and-fork kind of guy, although he'll take a bowl of soup if there is enough meat and/or cheese in it to keep a spoon standing upright. So know that I made this green soup for me, just for me, with no expectation that the rest of my family would eat it, but knowing full well that they are totally missing out. 

I poured myself this bowl, took a photo, then ate it.  Then I went back to the pot and stood over the stove, dipping my spoon in and eating more right out of the pot; after all, it's just my soup. It's light and flavorful, with caramelized onions giving it depth in flavor, cayenne pepper adding a little heat and lemon juice bringing sunny brightness. And I don't need to tell you how good you'll feel after eating this much spinach/kale/broccoli/chard/whatever greens you put in this.  

Oh, but one tip: after eating this soup, check your smile. No one wants to start the New Year with spinach between their teeth. 

Green Soup
From the lovely book Love Soup. The recipe is completely open to variation. I used kale, broccoli puree that I had in the freezer, and spinach. It's worth noting that 101 Cookbooks did a gorgeous, not pureed version with ginger - check it out here. Use what you have, waste not, want not. 

2 Tbls. olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup arborio rice OR 1 small potato
1 lb. greens: chard, kale, mustard greens, beet greens, broccoli, turnip greens...whatever
12 oz. spinach
4 c. vegetable broth
Big pinch cayenne pepper
1 Tbls. lemon juice (or more to taste)

Heat oil in large skillet over high heat. Add onions and 1/4 tsp. salt; cook, stirring, until onions begin to brown, about 5 mins. Reduce heat to low, add 2 Tbls. water and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are greatly reduced and have a caramel color, 25 mins. 

Meanwhile, combine 3 c. water, remaining 3/4 tsp. salt, and rice (or potato) in a soup pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 15 mins. Trim ribs and tough stems from greens and spinach; discard. Coarsely chop greens and spinach, keeping them separate. 

When rice has cooked 15 mins, stir in greens (not the spinach yet). Cover and cook 10 mins. When onions are caramelized, add them to rice along with spinach, broth and cayenne. Cook until spinach is tender but still bright green, about 5 mins more. 

Puree soup in pot using either immersion blender or in batches in regular blender. Stir in lemon juice and garnish with extra olive oil. 


Karen said...

Wow! Talk about healthy! I'd love this too, but would have to put a chunk of meat in it for the hubz... what is it with them, anyway? ;)

Dakotapam said...

Looks great! I was just listening to "Splendid Kitchen" on Sunday and learned about green soup. . .it looks wonderful! (But I would be eating it alone as well!)