I started this meal with something else in mind. Originally, dinner was supposed to be Spinach and Leek White Bean Soup, since I’d purchased a couple of leeks previously to use in a recipe I never ended up putting together. So I knew I needed to use them soon or they’d be inedible. Much to my surprise, they already were inedible. I’ll just call that a lesson learned in not buying local.
Of course, I discovered the leeks in their apparent state of decay only moments before I planned to slice them and saute them with a couple of cloves of garlic. Brilliant cook and super-fast thinker that I am…I clicked on the next delicious looking link. Problem solved! (Don’t you just love the internet?). Hence, Creamy Italian White Bean and Spinach Soup. And, none of my ingredients looked like a 6th grade science experiment.
As for the results? I sometimes rate the success of a recipe by how much I have left at the end of the meal (unless I’ve cooked for an army), and how long the leftovers sit in the refrigerator. My second barometer is whether my 6-year-old turned her nose up at it sans any attempt to taste it, if she tried it and then turned her nose up, of if she ate. And by “ate,” I mean, she didn’t just nibble with her front teeth, but actually got some on her real, actual taste buds. Minus the spinach, she ate, and she said she liked it. Maybe I was just being manipulated into a subsequent bowl of Dreyer’s Limited Edition Girl Scout Thin Mint ice cream, but….I actually believed her.
There were no leftovers, either, if that tells you anything, so I can’t say how this soup would age. Based on our first and only eating, I found it flavorful and really delicious. Given a couple of days to mellow in the refrigerator, I’m pretty sure it would have been spectacular. Enjoy!
Creamy Italian White Bean and Spinach Soup (recipe courtesy Allrecipes.com)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 (16 ounce) cans white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 cups water
- 1 bunch fresh spinach, rinsed and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- In a large saucepan, heat oil. Cook onion and celery in oil for 5 to 8 minutes, or until tender. Add garlic, and cook for 30 seconds, continually stirring. Stir in beans, chicken broth, pepper, thyme and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and then simmer for 15 minutes.
- With slotted spoon, remove 2 cups of the bean and vegetable mixture from soup and set aside.
- In blender at low-speed, blend remaining soup in small batches until smooth, (it helps to remove the center piece of the blender lid to allow steam to escape.) Once blended pour soup back into stock pot and stir in reserved beans.
- Bring to a boil, occasionally stirring. Stir in spinach and cook 1 minute or until spinach is wilted. Stir in lemon juice and remove from heat and serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Nutrition Info per serving:
- Calories: 245
- Total Fat: 4.9g
- Cholesterol: 2mg
- Sodium: 1014mg
- Total Carbs: 38.1g
- Dietary Fiber: 11.2g
- Protein: 12g
***Kitchen Notes: The original recipe calls for removing some of the bean and veggie mixture and blending it to create the creamier texture. I didn’t go that far. Instead, I used my potato masher and gently mashed the beans and veggies in the pan. That left some of the beans whole, while also creating a thicker, heartier soup. No need to go overboard, just 10 or 12 times through the pot. Also, I used fresh thyme. If you do, remember to use about 4x as much fresh as you would if you’re using dried herbs. Also, you could turn this into a vegetarian soup by simply swapping out the chicken stock for veggie stock.