Are we too far past winter to deem soup on a blog acceptable? I thought so until my friend shared a picture of her view from the state of New York this morning. There was snow on the ground. As I sit here tonight typing this blog post, I remembered that one week ago I was typing an email to a friend in Denver where, yes, it had snowed that day. So, soup it is!
This green soup is practically a liquid salad, and I did not want to eat it. Getting Jenn’s perspective on the last soup I made made me realize that a) either my grandmother was right when she explained “you like weird little things” (she had given me a palm-size kaleidoscope that relied on a marble at its end cap to make designs right before she made that statement) or b) I’ve been messing around with food on this blog for too long.
Earlier this week I read an article about Anthony Bourdain and the wacky things he eats – things that I want no part of. I can definitively say my palette is not in search of adventure. I do, however, like to try standard foods in new ways. I am also not thrilled about either raw broccoli or spinach, and when I had both in my fridge and on the verge of going bad, I figured I might as well cook them.
Unfortunately, my resourceful nature did nothing in terms of building my excitement. I can’t begin to tell you how un-thrilled I was to eat this soup. But then I did, and I actually enjoyed it.
I will caution that the stock (or broth) is going to have a solid impact on the flavor, so pick one you like. I will also say that stirring in a slice of crisp, crumbled bacon did nothing to hurt the soup in the flavor department either.
I made some adaptions to this recipe – a slice of white onion for a leek and cheddar for the Parmigiano-Reggiano – simply to save a trip to the store. It mystifies me that what would otherwise be a vegetarian dish calls for chicken stock, so keep in mind that you may want to substitute vegetable broth if you prefer to go the vegetarian route.
Before I go, let’s talk tahini. Do I think you should buy a jar for this soup? Yes, and here is why. Tahini adds a silky texture to the soup that makes this so much more than pureed vegetables in broth. And so you do not buy a one-trick pony ingredient, I have linked some other recipes that use tahini below. Enjoy!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 head broccoli, trimmed and chopped
- 6 cups baby spinach
- ⅓ cup grated cheddar
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- salt and pepper, to taste
- optional garnish ideas: bacon, more cheese
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook until tender, about four minutes.
- Pour in the stock and bring to a boil.
- Add the broccoli, cover the pot and cook, covered, until bright green and tender, about two minutes.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the spinach, cheese, and tahini.
- Season with salt and pepper and allow to cool slightly before pureeing with an immersion blender until smooth.
- If desired, garnish with bacon and/or cheese.
Because I do not own an immersion blender, I pureed my soup in a stand blender. If you go this route, I suggest stirring in just the cheese and tahini to the pot, then add the spinach to the blender when you puree the mixture. Fill the blender about half-way full and work in batches. Remember, NEVER puree a hot liquid as it will expand and explode!
Not sure what to make with the jar of tahini you bought to use all of two tablespoons for in this soup? Here are a few recipe ideas:
Tahini Cookies (similar to peanut butter cookies)