Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Anna Thomas' Green Soup

It all started a few weeks ago. It was a Saturday afternoon, I was washing dishes and listening to The Splendid Table on NPR. Lynne Rosetto Kasper was talking with Anna Thomas, author of a classic cookbook from the 70's, The Vegetarian Epicure. Lynne and Anna were talking soup. Anna talked about how one day she had some leftover greens in her fridge. Along with an onion, a little rice, and a few spices she decided to make a green soup... gently cooked and then pureed and finished with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

To be honest, at first I was sort of turned off.... okay, pureed greens... in a soup. Yeah.

But then I was intrigued. I love greens and I certainly don't eat enough of them. The soup was easy to make, vegetarian... but what really inspired me? That drizzle of olive oil. 

Lynne talked about how olive oil has a distinctly different flavor when used as a garnish, than it does when used for general cooking. I love the flavor of olive oil when cooking and I also love it in salad dressings... but I never thought about the differences in flavor.

So I decided to make the soup.

Wow. Such a simple concept: hearty spinach and chard, gently simmered with onions, vegetable broth, a little rice, a pinch of cayenne, and a splash of lemon juice. It was absolutely delicious. I've underestimated greens and soup. Normally when we make soup in our house, much of it often gets thrown away. There's just too much. This soup? I couldn't get enough. I ate the entire batch in about 4 settings.

And then I made another batch. And another. And atop each bowl of warm, creamy green soup? That drizzle of olive oil. The olive oil make this soup. It's warm, rich olive flavor slowly mixed into the creamy soup... it gave me a whole new meaning of the word soup.

I decided to share this recipe today in celebration of a new blog & website entitled, "The Balanced Platter." It's a website that was started by Amy Green of Simply Sugar and Gluten Free and Maggie Savage of She Let Them Eat Cake. The website will regularly share healthy recipes and tips from a variety of gluten free bloggers. I hope you'll visit the site and see what you think!

And meanwhile... try green soup. It's an easy and delicious way to get more vitamin rich, leafy greens into your diet without a lot of effort. For another variation of this soup, try Heidi's non-pureed version on 101 Cookbooks.

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