Spinach, Pea, Mint Soup


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Autumn is in the air, it's back to school, and everyone's schedule is getting hectic.  Mine is no exception; this week I have a test to take, 2 photo shoots, bookkeeping to catch up on, I'm in the midst of learning a new computer program and I have a wedding to attend.  All the while I am feeling a bit run down and trying to not get sick because I really just don't have time!
To help nourish myself I made this tasty spinach, pea, mint soup that I plan to eat throughout my busy week. The inspiration for this soup comes from one of my favorite cafes here in NYC called Once Upon a Tart.  They have a smattering of salads, sandwiches, and many baked goods but I always find myself dropping in for their eclectic soups.

This spinach, pea, mint soup is delicious, healthy and the vibrant, green color I blow you away.  The best thing about this soup is that it takes no time to make and you can use either fresh or frozen spinach and peas.   You might think mint is a strange herb for a soup but I promise it melds harmoniously with these vegetables.
Ingredients for Spinach, Pea, Mint Soup
Spinach, Pea, Mint Soup                                        makes 6 servings

1 lb. fresh spinach or 1-10oz package frozen spinach
2 cups fresh peas or 1 - 10oz package frozen green peas
2 medium yellow onions chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
3 cups vegetable broth
3 Tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/2  cup raw cashews to make cashew cream* or 1/2 cup light cream
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste

1. Defrost spinach and peas if not using fresh
2. Add butter to a large pot at medium heat, then add onion and garlic.
3. Cook onions and garlic until translucent then add your spinach, peas & broth.
4.  Cook for about 20 minutes until everything is heated through
5. At the last minute add the cashew cream or dairy cream and mint leaves
6. Remove from heat and let it stand for about 5 - 10 minutes
7.  Ladle soup mixture into a blender (this will take a few rounds)
8. Blend the soup until it is nice and smooth (Be sure to let the blender top breath as you don this so the hot soup will not explode and cover you & your kitchen!)
9.  Empty the blended soup into a fresh pot and continue to blend until you have no more soup left
10.  Now you are ready to or you can let it cool and freeze for a later date.
Happy cooking!

*Note: To make cashew cream soak 1/2 cup of  raw cashews for 2 - 4 hours, rinse well, then blend with about a 1/2 cup of water until smooth.

Did You Know? - Coffee


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Did you know that the way you prepare your coffee can subsequently raise your cholesterol levels?

I didn't either!  I've been using my French press for years thinking I was doing the environment some good by not using paper filters or electricity.  Well it turns out I wasn't doing my cholesterol levels any favors...

Fresh figs, not just a Newton


Thursday, September 6, 2012

Black Mission Fig & Kadota Fig
I have a vivid memory of the day I ate my first fresh fig.  This sensual little goodie was plucked from a beautiful fig tree in Connecticut while I was on a photo shoot.  Before that sunny September day I had only eaten figs in the form a Fig Newton cookie.  I had no idea what I had been missing until that perfectly plump fig so ripe and sweet hit my taste buds.  I fell in love at first bite and ever since that day I have excitedly awaited the late summer fig season.

Grow It Where You Can - Basil


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My fire escape "garden"
I would love to really try my hand at gardening someday but for now my garden is situated on my fire escape.  It's city living folks! I've grown tomatoes, squash, peppers, basil, thyme, mint, parsley and rosemary out there.  Basil is by far one of my favorite herbs to grow not only because it's easy to maintain but I like to put it in a variety of dishes.  One of the easiest recipes that I have for basil aside from picking it fresh and throwing it atop a salad is pesto.  This Basil Walnut Pesto consists of 6 easy ingredients, it's vegan, and it will make any dish sing with flavor.

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