In the past 29 years, I have rejected and subsequently reaccepted three categories of food in my diet: pie, soup, and Indian food. The latter was a matter of developing a taste for the flavor palette (and the result of the combined, persuasive efforts of many wonderful friends who had my best interest at heart and to whom I am incredibly grateful as I would have otherwise led a life without vindaloo). My vetoes of pie and soup were somewhat less rational. The pie thing was really a cake thing; I greatly prefer cake. Despite the fact that cake is not always available when pie is offered, I felt eating a slice of pie meant displacing the opportunity to eat a slice of cake. Much like my Doc Martens and paisley vest phases, it made sense at the time. I mean, for any given slice of cherry pie, can you really be sure there isn’t a piece of chocolate cake right around the corner? Hmm?
The soup thing…I can’t really explain. It was something about finding the combination of warm, savory, and liquid to be distasteful, though I can’t articulate anything more concrete than that. But the reason I started liking soup again was completely nutbar. At auditions for a production of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe in high school, I watched a line of hopefuls rattle off reasons why they each thought they would be well-suited to inhabit the role of Mr. or Mrs. Beaver. One girl (who ultimately ended up playing the White Witch), exclaimed “Mrs. Beaver just screams ‘soup’ to me, and I live and die for soup!” Thereafter, I liked soup. Nuts, right? I can’t make this stuff up.
But however it had to happen, I’m glad it did. Soup is a great anchor in the home cook’s repertoire. Most soup recipes can be doubled or halved with ease, making the output quite flexible to suit your needs. I like to make a batch and portion one or two servings into several Gladware containers – makes for easy lunches. Best of all, it’s so easy to get a full-bodied soup without adding much fat. Vegetable soups in particular offer a broad canvas for healthful creations that can, conveniently, make short work of any nearly ne’er-do-well produce lingering in your fridge. This little number served to salvage a massive wad of spinach that was starting to think about getting slimy.
As the title indicates, it’s stunningly green. If you’re looking for something a little less TMNT, add all of the spinach to the pot to simmer rather than adding half of it raw at the end.