Saturday, December 25, 2010

Spinach, Leek & Fennel Soup

While hanging out at our family home over the Thanksgiving holiday, I peeped this recipe in my mom's issue of Cooking Light.  I've come to think of soup as a wonderful way to turn a huge dose of vegetables into a full, satisfying meal (if you eat enough of it).  So, I tore it out along with a few other recipes, and then asked permission.  Luckily she said it was fine. 

Before heading East for the holidays, I made this soup one rainy evening.  With holiday decorations and a roaring fire as a back drop, this soup made for a warm, festive meal.  The fennel, leeks and spinach in this recipe create a full compliment of flavors all within the bounds of the Gundry lifestyle.

  • 2  large fennel bulbs with stalks and fronds
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped leek (about 2 medium)
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 ounces fresh spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Cut stalks from bulb of fennel and remove tough outer leaves. Pull feathery fronds from stalks,mince to measure 2 tablespoons and set aside. Cut bulbs in half lengthwise, discard core and chop bulbs to measure about 4 cups.

Heat oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add fennel bulb, leek, shallot, thyme and salt. Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Add broth, water, and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are soft, approximately 12 minutes. 

Discard bay leaf. Stir in spinach and black pepper.   

Remove from heat. Cover and let stand five minutes at room temperature.

Pour the mixture into a blender. and whirl until smooth. You may have to puree in batches, depending on the size of your blender.  
Ladle into bowls and garnish with fennel fronds.  

Serves 2 to 4.  

In Phase 1, top with or serve along side your protein of choice (turkey bacon, pancetta or goat cheese would be a nice topper).  

Check out my green soup fetish here, here and here.

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