It seems that every year, right when I get all excited that the cold weather is gone for good, a few chilly nights pop up to say hello. Chilly as 50F! For a Brazilian, it’s the dreadful boundary between life and death. So, faced with such adverse circumstances, I made soup. Complete improvisation from a few ingredients I had laying around in the fridge and the pantry. I felt incredibly energized after dinner, and even won a wrestling match with Oscar! It must have been the spinach. 😉
ZUCCHINI SPINACH SOUP
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 stalk of leek, finely sliced (white part only)
3 zucchinis, medium size, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/4 to 1/3 cup of canned white beans
4 cups vegetable stock or water (plus more if needed)
1 to 2 cups baby spinach leaves
salt and pepper
freshly squeezed lemon juice
low fat yogurt to taste for serving
Heat the olive oil and saute the sliced leeks, allow them to get golden. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the zucchini, cook the slices for a few minutes, stirring every once in a while, until they get a bit of color in some spots. Add the white beans, cook for a couple of minutes, add the vegetable stock (or water), bring the whole thing to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, until the zucchini is tender (20 minutes).
Add the spinach, cook until the leaves are just wilted. Puree the soup in a food processor, blender, or with an immersion blender until the consistency you like. If too thick, add more water or vegetable broth. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, sprinkle lemon juice, and keep warm until serving.
Pour some into a bowl, and add a dollop of yogurt seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper.
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All amounts for this soup are quite flexible. The spinach, added at the very end, gives it a nice bright green color, and a strong herbal flavor, so add as little or as much as your palate appreciates. I used an immersion blender because I like my soup to be a bit chunky and find that with other methods it’s harder to control the texture. But, if you prefer a smoother soup, use a blender. The beans made it creamy without the addition of any fat, and also turned it into a more substantial soup. A thick slice of rustic bread was all we needed.
A final note: if you are in a daring mood, add a splash of Sriracha to the yogurt. Takes the soup to a whole other level… 😉
ONE YEAR AGO: Cinco de Mayo Dinner Celebration
TWO YEARS AGO: Thom Leonard’s Country French Bread