Cream of Spinach, Red Peppers, and Garlic Soup

cream-of-spinach-red-peppers-and-garlic-soup-plated-photoCream of Spinach, Red Peppers, and Garlic Soup

This is a variation of the Cream of Broccoli Soup I made on New Year’s Day. Lisa isn’t feeling well and stayed home sick.  I thought about making Chicken Soup but I was afraid it was too close to last night’s French Onion Soup.   So, to help my Lee Lee B feel better I thought about a Garlic Soup.  Lots and lots of fresh garlic will help anyone feel better.  I looked around and garlic soup, while I am sure it would taste FAB, didn’t look very nice in any of the pictures/recipes I found online.  They all ended up looking like a grey soup.  Not very appealing to the eyes, despite what the mouth might say.

The cold day had quickly turned snowy, so off to the market I went with a recipe in hand.  Not a recipe I loved, but something just the same.  I walked into Price Chopper to see a big beautiful display of red peppers on sale and thought they might be just the thing to cheer up a soup that otherwise looked as dreary as the weather outside.  As soon as I was bagging a beautiful red pepper my mind raced to spinch.  Spinach, fresh red peppers and garlic.  Now that would be both tasty and yummy for the eyes… so the deal was set.

Getting it started:

1. Just like with the Cream of Broccoli, and most of my “cream soups” we start off with nice little chicken stock rue: (for pictures of these steps click here)

  • 4 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoons Celtic Sea Salt or Kosher Sea Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

I simmer these ingredients for 10 minutes or so on really low heat to let the onions get translucent and the flavors marry.

To complete the rue, add:

1/4 cup flour and stir until clumpy and well mixed

then add:

4 cups salt-free, NO-MSG, or low-sodium chicken stock (or veggie stock to make vegetarian version)

Boil this mixture and bring back down to a simmer. Stir fairly often and let it thicken some. It might not thicken like a traditional flour and milk rue but you will notice it will get thicker in 10 minutes or so.

Meanwhile:

  • Peel 3 full bulbs of garlic – don’t be afraid, just do it…. (what, you chicken??)
  • Cut each clove in half and lightly toast in the toaster over or oven at 400 degrees until they just turn golden brown.

Dice and Saute: (cook low and star-veggies-photoslow)

  •  a glug or two of olive oil in a pan on low heat
  • a pinch of good salt
  • 1 bag of spinach – (thaw if using frozen or lightly steam and remove water from fresh)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 stock of celery, small with lots of leaves
  • The garlic – roasted above – and now cooled and chopped.veggies-saute-photo

 To this mixture add:

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspon spanish hot paprika

Pafter-immersion-blending-photouree! Happy to be using immersion blender I got for Christmas!! If you don’t have one then use a food processor to puree the veggies – not to mush, just nice and small.

 

 

Add:

  • 1.5 cups Greek Yogurtfinished-soup-photo
  • 2 cups light cream
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino/ramano/parmesan cheese or other strong hard cheese.
  • 2 Tablespoons White Wine Cooking Sherry (or white wine you have around)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar

Mix well.  Once I add milk products I try not to boil it but get it close and keep stirring.

simmer for about 60 minutes, stirring often. Many recipies call for very little simmer time. I like to let things like soup and chili simmer several times for a while to really let the flavors marry together. Many times soups and chilis tasted better the second day so I decided to try letting things simmer longer and in most cases it now tastes as good on the first serving!

orzo-photoAdd about 15 minutes before serving:

  • 2 cups Cooked Orzo

 

I served this will french bread roasted with garlic and parmesan cheese.

Cut a bagette and top with drizzeled butter, oregano, basic, parmesan cheese, and more cut roasted garlic.  Bake until golden and serve hot!

 

 

Cook On!

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