Turn Your Gray Day to Green: Spinach Broccoli Soup

24 Mar

So much for a warm, sunny few days in Los Angeles. In all my years growing up here I have never seen such screaming rain (well maybe I have? but I’ve blocked it out of my memory). Sigh, Los Angeles needs rain, I guess they do. Rain turns things from gray to green.

My (gray) day today consisted of a (quick and pleasant) visit to the “gynie,” a brief jog in the drizzle before the storm, finishing up the final season of Big Love, and making bright green Spinach Broccoli Soup.

Tonight my family had over an old family friend for dinner. She used to take care of me from when I was a tiny baby until I was 7 years old. She was 21 (my current age) and taking care of baby Stephanie. Crazy. She now has her own baby girl who is not such a baby anymore but a beautiful sophisticated 5th grader. And tonight this beautiful sophisticated 5th grader ate the dinner that I cooked. She ate my spinach broccoli soup. She ate my grilled barbecue chicken, my whole wheat Israeli couscous, and my roasted balsamic green beans and tomatoes. She ate my homemade orange cornmeal cake with orange fig marmalade. This girl rocks!

Please try to find some green in your gray. It’ll make you feel good, I promise.

This soup is thick and you definitely have to like broccoli to eat it. You also might need to floss your teeth after you are done slurping. I really loved it as a mini pre-dinner course because you get the perfect little 1/2 cup of soup to start off and brighten up your meal.

Spinach Broccoli Soup

adapted from Joy the Baker

This served 5 of us a mini pre-dinner course

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 large head broccoli, cut into large florets, about 2/3 pound
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (preferred) or water
1/4 teaspoon each of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup spinach leaves (or arugula), packed
squeeze of 1/2 a lemon

For serving, more fresh black pepper and sea salt, Parmesan slivers

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan/pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the broccoli and cook for about 4 minutes, until the broccoli is bright green in color. Add the cumin, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.

Add the vegetable stock or water, lower the heat, and cover. Cook for about 8 minutes, until the broccoli has been softened and is just tender.

Being careful and working in 2 or more batches, transfer some of the soup liquid and broccoli to a blender, add half of the spinach and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl or another pot while you blend the second batch of soup with the rest of the spinach. Return to the pot over a low flame, check to see if it needs more salt/pepper, squeeze in the lemon and serve with Parmesan and more fresh ground pepper.


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