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Lemony Mixed "Greens" Soup (Spinach, Green Onions, Parsley & Peas)

Posted Jan 05 2011 2:54pm
Eek! Two months since my last post? Say it isn't so. Yes, there's been promotion duties for my 750 Muffins Book , and then a looming (but no longer!) deadline in mid December for my next book, and Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the general activities required to keep one's house from turning into a complete hovel. 

But it's a fresh new year, so be gone excuses, and on with the cooking. I've been infatuated with the Green Smoothie Revolution book I bought last fall. I've been stuffing spinach into my smoothies since I was in graduate school; slurping my vegetables just works for me and typically gets me off to a good start, even when I awake bleary, groggy, cranky, or all of the above. 

I always regarded my blueberry-spinach smoothies a tad odd (until I learned, years later thanks to the world of blogging, that I was not alone), but my little concoction is milk-toast compared to some of the concoctions in G-S-R.

But the ones I've tried have been really good, and I've been adding fruits and vegetables that I hadn;t before considered as smoothie-worthy. Like Romaine lettuce, parsley, celery, and cilantro, all of which are refreshing and delicious in the right combination with different fruits. I should, as caveat, mention that I use the book for recipe ideas mostly; I took the introduction with a grain of salt (I'm not willing to stop cooking all my food. Doing so would make me a professional not-cook). Further, some of the recipes are truly nutty (e.g., (1) "Colon Surprise Pudding." I, for one, do not like surprises where my colon is concerned; and (2) Probiotic Guacamole Spread (made with--I do not kid--sauerkraut). But the great majority of recipes are inspiring and delectable.

This morning, however, I simply wasn't game for a smoothie. I could have used it; I was decidedly cranky. But it was chilly and I was shivery from the shower--sipping my breakfast through a straw did not appeal.

So I cooked my smoothie for lunch.

This is a very flexible recipe, made with what I had on hand, which means you can tweak it, too, based on what you've got. I do recommend keeping the peas; even if you typically avoid them. They add sweetness and a velvety texture to the soup. And forgive me for going all Martha Stewart on you, but, for heaven's sake, don't use bottled lemon juice. I’m all for using a smidge of bottled lemon juice in a pinch for a wide range of recipes, but it  just won’t taste right here. If you don’t have a spare lemon or two, add a bit of vinegar (start by the teaspoon-ful) instead for the acid. I offer no promises for what this soup will do for your colon, but it does wonders for your palate and state of mind.

Lemony Mixed "Greens" Soup (Spinach, Green Onions, Parsley & Peas)

1 cup chopped green onions (about 1 bunch)
2 tbsp olive oil
6 packed cups pre-washed baby spinach leaves
5 cups vegetable or chicken broth (plus, if desired, additional to thin soup)
1 16-oz bag frozen green peas
4 peeled garlic cloves (no need to chop)
2 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
roughly 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves (just lop off top of 1 bunch parsley)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup low- or non-fat Greek yogurt (vegan option: use Tofutti Sour Supreme )

In a large saucepan set over medium heat, cook the green onions in the olive oil stirring, until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in spinach, broth, peas, garlic, basil, and lemon zest. Simmer soup 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley.

In a blender, purée soup in batches until smooth, adding additional broth to thin to desired consistency. Return to saucepan and whisk in lemon juice and yogurt (off the heat--yogurt will curdle if soup is reheated). Generously season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with dollops of yogurt, if des. Makes 4 servings.

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