Broccoli Spinach Soup

Serves 6-8

Soup is one of the main events of winter dinner for me as it’s easy and quick to prepare and can be adapted with many different vegetables.  For a while I avoided using green vegetables for my soup – bad childhood memories of mixed vegetable soup with lima beans might be blamed for this.  Then one day, during a particularly big love affair with broccoli, I decided to take the plunge.  This delicious, bright green soup is the result.  While I make it with spinach and broccoli, it’s a perfect recipe for just about any cruciferous and leafy vegetables you can think of.

1 onion
1 to 2 medium carrots
1 medium bunch of broccoli
1 to 2 cups of spinach
2 medium potatoes (thin skinned, red or white)
6 cups of water and 1 vegetable broth cube or 6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop onion.
Scrub potatoes. Chop each potato into 6 even pieces.  Do not peel.
Scrub carrots.  Chop into ¼ to ½ in disks. (Peeling is optional.)
Sauté onion in olive oil, salt and pepper until translucent.
Add carrots and sauté lightly, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add potato pieces to onions and carrots.
Add 6 cups of water / vegetable broth cube, or stock and bring to a boil, covered.
While pot is boiling, wash broccoli.  Trim woody stem (½ to 1 inch), leaving most of the stem for the soup.
Slice broccoli into ¼ to ½ inch slices.
Add broccoli once liquid begins to boil.
Simmer, uncovered, until potatoes and broccoli are cooked through, and liquid has reduced some, 30 to 45 minutes.
Rinse spinach leaves.  Add to soup, stir and boil for another two to three minutes.
Puree with a hand blender, or in the counter top blender (with care, the steam from the hot soup has a tendency to pop the soup out of the blender).

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