I have been in possession of a very large can of Virginia peanuts, which is one of my very favorite things to eat on this here earth. It’s foolish to pretend that a small handful will curb the peanut craving. But I do take out a small handful, put the lid back on, put the can away (HA! Oh the wishful thinking) and crunch away.
Then I take out the can again, remove another small handful, put the can away and eat those.
Then I do it one more time. And maybe one more time.
Then I put the peanuts on a high shelf.
All of this is to explain why I’d been craving a cleansing soup, a bracing soup, a soup that felt almost acerbic in nature. A soup that makes me feel a bit more rationalized in pulling the lid off the peanut can yet one more time. And while this soup is all of that, it’s also delicious, and doesn’t feeling punishing in the slightest.
I personally think this benefits from a very liberal hand with the peppermill, but that’s a personal preference. To make this soup more substantial you can add in a can of rinsed and drained white beans, such as navy or cannellini.
Also optional (and maybe it start to tilt this soup slightly out of the fully cleansing realm but not in an indulgent way, just a heartier way) is to add a cup or two of cooked whole grains. Farro, spelt, brown rice….I think soups are a great way to play around with whole grains that you may not know as well. A low-cost, low-risk testing situation. Also a low-risk, good-odds way of introducing more whole grains into your family’s meal situation.
The sprinkle of cheese on the top is also up to you. It is the thing that makes my kids ask for seconds, so it’s not optional as far as they are concerned.
And now, maybe I’ll have one more small bowl…. and then go look for the peanuts.
This is the most delicious and satisfying way to start counteracting the indulgences of the holiday season.Tweet This
Still thinking about soup? Me, too.
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Escarole and Spinach Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 large carrot peeled and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 4 cups roughly chopped escarole rinsed and excess water shaken off
- 4 cups less-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans rinsed and drained, optional
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 10 ounces baby spinach leaves roughly chopped
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese to serve, optional
- Heat the oil in heavy large pot or Dutch oven medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrot and garlic, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until the onion is tender and golden brown, about 8 minutes.
- Turn the heat to medium-high, add the escarole, and cook, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes, until the escarole is wilted. Add the broth, beans (if using) and tomatoes, and bring a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until the escarole is tender, about 20 minutes.
- Add the spinach and stir until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Adjust the seasonings.
- Ladle the soup into bowls, sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve hot.
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