Monday, January 22, 2018

Spinach and Kale Soup for a Healthier You

This month I'm focusing on healthy foods and today's recipe for Spinach and Kale Soup fits perfectly.  I don't like to throw food out.  It just seems wasteful.  So, when I looked in my refrigerator last weekend and saw some kale and spinach that were calling out to be used, I decided to make a soup.  Have I told you I love soup?

A Flavorful Spinach and Kale Vegetable Soup

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 Spinach and Kale Soup
Spinach and Kale Soup 

Winter can be challenging when shopping the produce department for fresh vegetables.  Spinach and kale always seem to be in abundant supply in winter and look fresh and appetizing.  This is compared to the other vegetables I prefer like green beans, zucchini, and asparagus.

This soup is kicked up with a flavorful gremolata.  Are you wondering what gremolata is?  Gremolata is a condiment typically made with chopped parsley, lemon zest, and garlic.  For this recipe, the parsley is replaced with chopped spinach.  You'll definitely want to make the gremolata.  This flavorful concoction adds a special little punch to the soup's flavor.   You won't want to leave it out.

Healthy Spinach and Kale Soup
Lemon is essential, as well.  Both the zest and juice of the lemon are in the gremolata and the juice is added to the soup.  A fine gauge grater, or Microplane, is a simple kitchen tool you'll want to use to make this soup.  It is the only tool that makes it possible to quickly grate the zest of a lemon.  Oh, while you are grating the lemon zest be sure to breathe in deeply.  The scent of the lemon will brighten your day.

Zest Your Lemon
My Zesting Tool

This grater also makes it possible to finely grate a clove of garlic for the gremolata in about three seconds.  If you don't have a grater please add it to your list of kitchen things to buy.  You can pick one of these handy dandy graters up online or at any kitchen store.

Tips to keep in mind as you make this soup:

  • Your chicken broth influences the amount of salt and pepper you will need to use.  Use the amounts listed in the recipe as a guide.  If your chicken broth includes salt as an ingredient you may need to use less salt than is in the recipe. 
  • You can use whatever kind of potato you have on hand.  I used Russet potatoes, but Yukon Gold or red potatoes would work as well.
  • You could use other greens to make this soup.   Collard greens, Swiss chard, or escarole could be substituted.
  • Keep bacon frozen in your freezer in packages of three or four strips and you'll easily be able to chop bacon for added flavor to soups.
Chopped Bacon
Freezing Bacon Makes for Easy Chopping

  • Toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan over medium heat until lightly browned.  As soon as you smell a nutty aroma you'll want to remove the pan from the heat.
Toasted Pine Nuts
Toasted Pine Nuts
 If you are ready, let's make some soup...

Spinach and Kale Soup with Spinach Gremolata

Printer Friendly Recipe
Serves 6-8
The Spinach and Kale Soup Ingredients.
The Soup Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 4 ounces white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 cups no-salt chicken broth (I used homemade)
  • 1 pound russet potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 7 large kale leaves, center ribs removed and chopped ( about 5 ounces)
  • 5 ounces of baby spinach, one cup reserved for gremolata
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can cannellini beans, optional

Directions
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy pot over medium heat.  Add the chopped bacon and cook until the fat is rendered.

Add the chopped onion, garlic and mushrooms.  Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  Cook until the onions are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, potatoes, kale and two cups of water to the pot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.  Cook for 5 minutes.

Kale and Spinach in a Soup Pot
Add the Kale and Simmer
Add the spinach and lemon juice.  Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. I added another 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.  Cook for 5-10 minutes more.  Serve hot, topped with the gremolata and toasted pine nuts.
Gremolata Ingrdients
The Gremolata Ingredients

To make the gremolata:

  • 1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Mix one cup of the chopped spinach with the lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

Toss to combine and set aside.

It's soup season.  Here are some other soup recipes you may like:
Italian Wedding Soup
Minestrone
Chicken Tortilla Soup

Shared on Meal Plan Monday.
Enjoy!

2 comments:

  1. Hi, Donna
    I used to cook alot with organic kale and spinach but after finding out it is not recommended for postmenstrual woman because of the huge iron hit, I stopped completely using either one. I've moved on to organic turnip greens and other greens for color and nutrients. Even my vitamins for over 50+ doesn't have iron. Just a note of caution to some of you ladies out there. Keep up the good work on your Blog, Donna. It's a true winner for sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Nonni. Yes, that's a good reminder for all of us to be more aware of the food we eat and how it might affect our nutritional needs. Thanks for supporting Just One Donna, Nonni!

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