Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Work-a-Day Wednesday: Spinach Soup

Welcome to Work-a-Day Wednesday: Recipes for the Time Crunched or Impaired.

This is a soup that would make Popeye proud.

And maybe it'd make your 9-year-old proud too, if he even, like, knew who Popeye was. Which he doesn't. Because he's 9. And he hates spinach. And he owns a DS. Which makes us sound so unpleasantly all-newmillennium-American that I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. But at least he doesn't smoke a pipe, or have an anchor tattoo, or an excessively skinny and helpless girlfriend, or eat canned spinach (like, seriously).

My point, if ever there was one, is that this is a very good soup, but that it is also a soup for spinach lovers. It's not going to win over your picky eaters (my own personal picky eater claimed that the mere sight of it made him feel like he was going to throw up--he actually said this in a slightly polite manner, as though to explain his feelings and not to insult the food, leading me to believe that the sight of this food really was triggering his actual gag reflex, so there you go). I'm not even sure that it's a soup that will win over your spinach fence sitters (for that you'll have to go with this), as Kip was not a huge fan either (though he did eat his bowl without gagging or politely threatening to do so). However, if you and yourn like spinach, you should totally make this because it's really good and it's pretty healthy too.

As for me, it was a flash of warm green spring on an brown blue January day. It felt that way on my insides too.

Spinach Soup
adapted from tasty kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Cost: $1.65
(spinach: .80, butter: .15, milk: .40, cheese: .25, other stuff: .05)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
5 oz. baby spinach (about 1/2 bag)
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 of an onion or 1/2 tsp onion powder
2 Tbsp flour
2 1/2 C milk (or 2 C milk and 1/2 C cream for those who missed the fact that it's January and there are things called resolutions in January, right?)
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper
maybe a dash of cayenne too
maybe a dash of chicken bullion granules if you're still not quite feeling it or a bit more salt
1/4 C Parmesan cheese and more for serving (cheddar or goat cheese wouldn't do you wrong either)

In skillet, heat oil. Add spinach and garlic and stir constantly as the spinach wilts. (Even your picky eaters will like how this smells; then they'll see it and say 'gross.' But it still makes you believe there's hope.)

Put this in a small blender with 2 Tbsp water and blend. You can get it super smooth or leave it a little more spinach-y and textured. If you don't have a small blender, just hold off on blending till you have some milk-mixture to throw in there.

Melt butter in saucepan and add onion.. Cook until onion soft (or until onion powder is fragrant). Whisk in flour and cook for 30-60 seconds, whisking all the while. Add milk and whisk it in until there are no lumps. Heat this at medium until it begins to thicken. (At this point, you can add some of this mixture to your spinach if you weren't able to blend it before--now you can puree it in a bigger blender).

Add spinach mixture to milk mixture in the saucepan and heat until it's a thickness you enjoy in your soup. Add salt, pepper, cayenne and then taste. Add more salt or a bit of chicken bullion if it needs it. Add cheese and whisk that in. Taste it and add more if it needs it.

Serve with a bit of cheese served on top and a crusty bread thereby, or some Saltines in a pinch.


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