Spinach Asparagus Soup

When one essentially cooks and eats for a living, there will inevitably come a time when one starts to feel a bit sluggish. For me, this time came last week.

I usually do a detox of some kind about once a season.  I find that it helps me hit the "reset" button, so to speak, and leaves me with more energy and just feeling cleaner and refreshed after months of indulgent eating.  My favorite is the BluePrintCleanse, which is both delicious and ridiculously convenient (the bottles are literally numbered---doesn't get easier than that!). But unfortunately, the BPC price tag is way too steep, so I usually have to wait for one of their 20% or 30% off coupons to pop in my inbox before I'll order it.

With no coupons in site (I even asked on their FB page and they brushed me off!), I decided to design my own home detox. As it's getting chilly out there, I can't do just pressed juices, so I went with a combination of pressed juices for breakfast and simple pureed soups for lunch and dinner.

This asparagus and spinach soup is one of my favorite detox recipes, but it's actually just as good on regular days too. Eugene actually loves it and was sad when our last batch finished. He also kept urging me to post it here, so here it is.

This soup reheats really well, and so I know that making it will leave me with meals for at least 2 or 3 days (the recipe doubles easily). To make it a little more substantial, you can add cooked crab meat or shrimp to the soup.

Spinach Asparagus Soup
Another great thing about this soup is that it can be easily adapted to the season or what's on sale at the store. I've made the same one using broccoli instead of asparagus and will swap in watercress or arugula instead of spinach. It's always good! This makes about two-three servings.
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Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large bunch of fresh asparagus, diced
4 cups water (or low sodium vegetable broth)
8oz fresh spinach, washed and chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


Directions
Heat the olive oil in a medium dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the crushed garlic and diced onions and saute until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes). Add the red pepper flakes and diced asparagus and saute for about 5 minutes.

Add the water and raise the heat, bringing it all to a boil. Lower to a simmer and let it cook for about 10 minutes or until tender.

Add the spinach and then use an immersion blender or transfer in small batches to a regular blender to puree it until smooth. NOTE: Always be cautious when blending hot liquids in a standard blender as the steam can cause the top to blow off and you'll end up with hot soup everywhere. Blend only a cup or two at a time (depending on the size of your blender) and go slow. If you have time, let the soup cool before blending it, or use a food processor or immersion blender instead.

Return the pureed soup to the pot and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. (If you're trying to detox, I suggest that you limit the salt and instead use fresh lemon juice to perk up the flavors a bit.)

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