Wednesday, October 6, 2010

It's Actually Easy Being Green: Broccoli Spinach Soup

(Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Tonight at 7pm, in each of our respective time zones, many of us participated in the Wave of Light by lighting candles for our lost children, and lighting a candle for the losses of others, too.  Please join me in support of the one in four women who continue to live this experience.)

While it's enough of a demeaning experience for pregnant women to be ogled and felt up by near-strangers who find swollen bellies irresistable to touch, only those of us who work at a university would run the risk of being accosted by a toxicologist at the decaf coffee urn, who would see it his duty to inform said pregnant woman than she ought not to be drinking decaf, either, because it's not good for the baby.


The reason I was standing in the decaf line is twofold: one, coffee makes milk drinkable.  Two, I'm cold.  The weather here has taken a turn towards fall in earnest now, and I am wrapping myself in an oversized green sweater that I hope will not get too ratty over the next few months.  I'm hoping that I don't actually have to buy a maternity coat.  Is that unreasonable?  Hm, probably.

I am trying to let go, one little bit at a time. One thing I'll be almost glad to let go of is the CSA share, which has dominated my menu planning over the past few months.  Despite the overabundance of greens in last week's CSA box (arugula, spinach, chard, radicchio, collards), at least there was a variety of other things, too.  When I saw the broccoli, I knew I had to make this recipe.

I first found it years ago when I was pregnant with I. and trying to eat perfectly for the two of us.  I am--true confessions here--eating less perfectly this time around (last time I had an inexplicable chocolate and sweets aversion, which made eating well much easier!), but at least I'm still getting lots of veggies in my diet.  Soups like this make it easy, and this one can be adapted easily for vegans.  Today's recipe is for those of you who, with me, are wrapped in your oversized green sweater, watching the leaves turn red and gold, and thinking about storing up for winter.

Broccoli Spinach Soup

3 T. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large potato, peeled and diced
8 c. broccoli florets (about 1 lb) washed and trimmed
4 c. stock (vegetable or chicken), low sodium, low fat
6 oz. baby spinach or 6-8 oz. frozen chopped spinach (or whatever you have on hand)
1 c. buttermilk (you can also use unsweetened regular soymilk here)
1/2 c. pasteurized instant nonfat dry milk (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
cheddar cheese for grating on top, or Greek yogurt, or ... ? (optional)

Melt butter in a 6 qt. stock pot.  Add onion, cook three minutes.  Add potato, broccoli, and stock; bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes, covered.

Add spinach and simmer 5 more minutes.  Remove from heat and puree soup in batches (or, if you're lucky like me, use an immersion blender that you just stick right into the pot.)  Blend until smooth and add buttermilk (or equivalent).

Serve with grated cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt ... whatever floats your boat.
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  1. Ooohh, delish. Have you ever tried the broccoli soup from Crank's recipe book? That was the first broc soup we ever made and it is really great. I just popped over to get the link for 101 Cookbooks as I am seeking a dinner-for-one comfort meal for tonight, and yay, a new post! I'm glad your maternity leave is sorted, even if it is an imperfect solution.

    PS. Wanted to let you know that I made your carrot soup with a variation that included red lentils. It was fab, much loved by the family, so thanks for the great idea!

  2. I will definitely need to try this recipe! I love broccoli and spinach...

    sorry about the decaf guy. it just never ends. I lectured on obesegens yesterday in class which got me thinking I shouldn't drink soy milk either...

    So your employer... an undergrad will "fill your shoes"!? nice. I am guessing that my dept will pocket my maternity leave pay and not hire someone to teach my courses.

  3. Glad the work situation is at least worked out, even if it's not a very practical solution to your absence.

    Hmmmm, I think my hubby would love this soup. Maybe in a month or so when it's chilly enough in Florida for hot soups I'll try to make this for him.


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