Thursday, January 8, 2015

Easy Cream of Spinach Soup

This is my favorite time of year for soup!  I usually have some type of soup in the refrigerator so I don't have to think or worry about what's for lunch.  Another reason I love soup is because it's a great way to sneak more vegetables into my day.  If you're someone who doesn't find crunching on vegetables a delightful past time, try cream soups!  They're packed with nutrition and will disguise the fact that they're mainly vegetable.  This delicious soup is quite similar in texture and taste to a creamy pea soup, but with many fewer carbs.  You can get creative with toppings, if you like.  Pictured is dry roasted pine nuts that have been crushed, but also crumbled bacon or finely chopped ham would be nice, or try a sprinkling of lemon zest and a drizzle of lemon flavored olive oil.  The ease of using frozen chopped spinach makes this a quick and simple meal that you can enjoy tonight.

Easy Cream of Spinach Soup
Makes about 6 servings (about 1-1/4 cups each)

2 TB light olive oil or refined coconut oil
1 cup chopped celery or celeriac (celery root)
1 large leek, sliced
7 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
black pepper to taste
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (or full-fat coconut milk, if avoiding dairy)

1.  Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add chopped celery or celeriac and leek.  Sauté for a few minutes until leek begins to soften.  Add wine and spinach and sauté for another minute.  Add broth and simmer gently for about 20-25 minutes or until celeriac is softened.  Salt and pepper to taste.

2.  Place soup mixture into a blender (in batches, if necessary) and puree until smooth.  Add heavy cream or coconut milk and stir until well blended.  Adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Serve hot.

Nutritional Information per serving (not including toppings): 127 calories, 6.3 g carbohydrate (1.4 g dietary fiber, 1.6 g sugar), 8.6 g total fat (3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 14 mg cholesterol, 586 mg sodium, 57 mg calcium, 279 mg potassium, 4.3 g protein.  Net carbs per serving: 4.9 grams

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2015

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