Tuesday, January 19, 2010

spinach green bean soup

this is the bastardized cousin of the portuguese kale soup i love. there was simply no kale at the grocer's. fresh spinach makes a nice substitution. in true slacker form, i buy the one in the bag, washed and trimmed. only this time, it was gargantuan, with stems the size of pencils, leaves thick and sorta ruffled. tasted fine, but it makes you wonder what in the hell kind of fertilizer they used. boy, do i miss going into the garden and just picking stuff.

i saved the monster, for chopped creamed spinach and used some baby spinach that was intended for salad. i know that picture doesn't look like much, but it's a delicious soup, and easy as sin. my daughter deemed it 'pink' and it was all good and dandy from there.

1 italian sausage, casing removed
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 red pepper
2 carrots
2 cups green beans
4 cups baby spinach
3-4 tb tomato sauce
2-3 tb heavy cream
1-2 tb lemon juice
1/2 ts cinnamon
2 tb chopped parsley
salt, pepper

i never measure anything. sometimes i stray even when baking. just taste and adjust accordingly. do not forget the cinnamon. in my book, this is something i use in desserts. and to top my cappuccino. the only time i used it in a savory dish it was accidental - and catastrophic. well in this soup it sings.
slice the sausage and roll each slice to round it up, like tiny meatballs. tiny. sear on all sides in a bit of hot oil. remove to plate and add the onion, and after 5 minutes the garlic. cook 2 more minutes, then add the chopped pepper. saute 5 minutes more. add 6 to 8 cups of water or stock. bring to boil. get the spinach in there and the beans, if using fresh or frozen. if using canned, add them with the tomato sauce. this is when the cinnamon takes a dive. bring to boil again and simmer partialy covered for about a half hour. then add tomato sauce, heavy cream, lemon juice and simmer 5 minutes more. sprinkle the parsley and turn off the heat. cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.
you can also add a bit of allspice to it, and use chickpeas instead of green beans. that is what the kale soup calls for but i've an unexplained antipathy for chickpeas. or to be honest, more like extreme prejudice: can't stand them with the glorious exception of roasted red pepper hummus, which i just might make this weekend.

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