Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ready for Spring... Soup that is

Seasons are what I love most about San Francisco. Originally from the land of palm trees, aka Southern California, it's not too often that I get to pull out my pea coat and mittens for a cold, blustery, winter day (sans snow, thank god). I also no longer take for granted those perfect 75 degrees and sunshine days.

Speaking of seasons, this morning is the first day of March. Spring is on its way, and I'm ready to take on a new adventure - seasonal soup. I pulled out a cookbook from one of my dear friends Breanne, called Soup for All Seasons. The recipe titled "Spinach, Parsley & Honey", (really, honey) had all the qualities I was looking for - vegetarian, satisfying, a bit of sweetness and authenticity. This is sure to keep me satisfied through the first couple rainy spring days of March.

Vegetable Herb & Honey Soup
adapted from Soup for All Seasons
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large carrot, finely chopped or grated
2-3 sticks of celery, chopped
1 small onion, finely diced
1 quart vegetable stock
1/2 cup water
5 ounces baby spinach
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
4 basil leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
6 ounces canned tomato paste
1 drop Worcestershire sauce
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

In a large soup pan sautee the carrot, onion and celery in the olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes. The onions should become somewhat translucent while the carrots and celery will become more vibrant in color. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Let simmer for around 8 minutes. Next, add the spinach, herbs, honey and tomato paste. Stir quickly to combine all the flavors then simmer rapidly for 5 minutes. Now this is the hard part: Pour the mixture into a blender and puree everything together, leaving some texture. I used a measuring cup and blended the soup cup by cup, leaving some chunks of carrot, onion and spinach. This is difficult as the soup will be hot and has the potential of splattering everywhere! Return the soup to the soup pan and add the drop of Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Re-heat gently for 2-3 minutes and serve.

I topped mine off with a quick homemade basil pesto (basil, olive oil & salt) and some homemade croutons.

For the croutons, I simply sliced up my favorite whole wheat bread into cubes, tossed them in olive oil and salt and baked under 400 degrees fahrenheit for about 10-12 minutes.


Anonymous said...

That looks good. Perfect for this cold winter weather.

zerrin said...

Hey this is just for me as I love celery and spinach in soup. It seems and sounds so hearty.