There’s nothing like a cup of soup to set the world right. There are so many great things about soup:
- It can be an entire meal
- It can be rich and creamy
- It can be slim and lean
- It freezes well
This recipe was inspired by Veggie Belly! The trick of adding a pinch of baking soda to keep the spinach green.
Spinach is delicious and so good for you. It has a healthy dose of vitamin A and is known for being high in iron. Remember Popeye the Sailor who got his super strength from spinach? Well, brain pickings.org had some interesting information about the cartoon hero. I always wondered why he ate so much spinach…
Popeye, with his odd accent and improbable forearms, used spinach to great effect, a sort of anti-Kryptonite. It gave him his strength, and perhaps his distinctive speaking style. But why did Popeye eat so much spinach? What was the reason for his obsession with such a strange food?
The truth begins more than fifty years earlier. Back in 1870, Erich von Wolf, a German chemist, examined the amount of iron within spinach, among many other green vegetables. In recording his findings, von Wolf accidentally misplaced a decimal point when transcribing data from his notebook, changing the iron content in spinach by an order of magnitude. While there are actually only 3.5 milligrams of iron in a 100-gram serving of spinach, the accepted fact became 35 milligrams. To put this in perspective, if the calculation were correct each 100-gram serving would be like eating a small piece of a paper clip.
Once this incorrect number was printed, spinach’s nutritional value became legendary. So when Popeye was created, studio executives recommended he eat spinach for his strength, due to its vaunted health properties. Apparently Popeye helped increase American consumption of spinach by a third!
– Via brainpickings.org
- olive oil – 2 tablespoons
- onions – 1/2 cup chopped
- garlic cloves – 2 peeled and minced
- potatoes – 1 cup peeled, diced
- spinach – 4 cups tightly packed fresh, tender leaves
- fresh oregano – 2-3 sprigs (or freshly dried oregano)
- baking soda – A pinch of optional
- button cap mushroom tops – 15 large
- dried mushrooms – 2-3 soaking in 4 cups of hot water (for at least 30 minutes)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat a medium, heavy bottom sauce pan with the olive oil.
- Add the onions, and sauté on medium heat until translucent.
- Add the minced garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds or until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the mushrooms and sauté on medium heat till they brown, about 5 minutes.
- Then add the potatoes, a pinch of salt and 4 cups mushroom water.
- Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer until the potato cubes are cooked.
- Add washed spinach leaves, oregano and salt to the pot (keeping in mind you’ve already added a little salt to the soup in the previous stage).
- Immediately add a pinch of baking soda to the spinach; this will keep the spinach green when cooking; but this step is optional.
- Boil for about 1 minute or till the spinach is wilted.
- Turn off the heat. Using a hand/immersion blender, puree the soup till smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, pour the soup into a regular blender and carefully puree. If the soup is too thick, add ½ cup water and blend again.
- Serve warm, with a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.
It’s soup yoga!!!
Sometimes you have to hold it around your hands and take a big warm sip.