Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday Recipe - Chicken Spinach Soup

I never was much a fan of spinach. In fact, I never was much a fan of vegetables in general, other then basic salad stuff, peas, and corn. Then, I discovered how to cook most of them in a tasty way, and yummm! (Kale, for example, is a vegetable I recently tried and was very surprised at how tasty it was). I learned that asparagus doesn't actually have to be gray after it's cooked (boiling the life out of it), and I actually do like broccoli as long as it's still crunchy. I always used to say that broccoli was the only subject I agreed with the elder President Bush on (he went on record to say he didn't like broccoli), but now I'm happy to say that I can cross even that off our similarities list.

I was a bit dubious about spinach soup, however much I'm a fan of spinach now (especially Jamaican spinach). Something about spinach floating in broth just didn't seem appetizing. But man was I wrong! Plus, this recipe gave me my first chance to use my handy dandy new food processor (woooohooo!), and I didn't slice my finger this time like I did when I was unpacking it (why oh why were we created to be curious beings? Reminder: when directions say NOT to touch the blade, DON'T touch it just to see how sharp it is...). And the food processor did about 20 minutes of work in about 20 seconds. I'm a convert, yes sirree.

The recipe below is slightly modified from the original. I doubled the amount of carrots, scallions, and broth, added chicken to give it protein, but kept the amount of spinach the same. It came out pretty well balanced, I think.


Chicken Spinach Soup

.5-1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (optional)
1.5-2 lbs spinach, washed and de-stemmed (I used baby spinach, not sure if it changed the flavor)
12C chicken broth (6-8C if you're not adding chicken)
2/3C scallions, chopped
2/3C carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
C quinoa (or barley, rice, pasta, etc)
2T butter

Melt butter in a large pot and add scallions, carrots and garlic (you can also use olive oil instead of butter for a healthier base). Sautee 2-3 minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Add whole chicken breasts to the broth.

While chicken is cooking, de-stem the spinach. When chicken is cooked, remove the chicken breasts from the pot. Transfer on a plate to a cutting board. With two sturdy forks, tear chicken into small pieces (you can also cut it into small pieces, but for some strange reason I much prefer how the torn chicken comes out). Return chicken to pot along with the quinoa.

When quinoa is cooked (it will be slightly chewy but not crunchy), add in the spinach and cook until just wilted. Salt and pepper to taste. Be sure not to overcook at this stage or the spinach will turn an unappetizing color.

Depending how large your serving sizes are, I'd say it makes about 8 servings (if you're using the chicken and 12C broth).


MizFit said...

this looks GREAT!
and so timely as it's raining and 82 here today which, since it hath been 100+ for so long, feels like winter.

The Lethological Gourmet said...

I was cooking this when it was bright sunny and hot out (crazy me!), but I had my a/c on so it wasn't bad. It's a really light soup, because of the veggies, so I think it works even in summer :)

JavaChick said...

I tend to throw spinach in soup because I can disguise it with other flavours. For me, it doesn't necessarily follow that spinach is tasty, rather that I can eat it and not mind it. :)

The Lethological Gourmet said...

Java, I hear you on that...I don't know if it's the spinach I find tasty as much as the garlic and chicken broth I cook it in... :)