Saturday, December 5, 2009

Green Soup with Ginger

I got the idea for this soup from Heidi Swanson's great cooking blog, 101 Cookbooks, featuring vegetarian recipes using whole foods. I have cooked several recipes from her blog, all great! She has also written a cookbook, Super Natural Cooking, that I think I'm going to have to buy even though my cookbook shelf has already overflowed to the shelf below. I made a number of changes in her soup, which was originally from a cookbook called Love Soup by Anna Thomas. (I love how recipes travel through kitchens and mutate.) The version on her blog has sweet potato and chard, which also sounds wonderful; I just was trying to maybe please my teenagers, who interrogate me about the ingredients of any new dish and would mostly rather I cooked the same recipes the same way every time. So I made it more like a leek and potato soup, which they love, except with spinach and ginger. I loved the green spinach and fresh ginger flavor and so did my husband and one of our teens. The older one prefers my usual leek and potato soup (no surprise). Here's the soup:

Green Soup with Ginger
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1-1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 lb. yellow potatoes (about 3 med.), peeled and diced
1 leek, washed and sliced (white and light green parts only)
1 bunch spinach, washed and chopped
3 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 cups vegetable broth, made with Rapunzel bouillon cube (see Note)
2-4 tsp. fresh lemon juice
ground pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. heavy cream (optional)

Saute the onion in the olive oil on low heat, sprinkling with a little salt, until it is soft and starting to brown, approx. half an hour. Meanwhile, put the potato in 4 cups of cold water in a soup pot and add 1 teaspoon salt. Add leek and ginger to the pot, and bring to a boil. Add sauteed onions when they are ready. Simmer for approx. 20 minutes, then add the spinach and simmer until vegetables are tender (another 5-10 minutes). Let soup cool for a few minutes, then puree in a food processor or blender. (Can also leave chunky.) Return to the pot and add lemon juice, pepper, and more salt to taste. Reheat slowly and swirl in the cream, if desired.

Note: Usually I make soup with chicken broth, homemade when possible. But it seemed like the charm of this soup would be in the vegetable flavors, so I honored Heidi's version and used vegetable broth made with the Rapunzel cube that Heidi recommended. I have to say, the broth made from the cube was very good.

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