I’m definitely a soup girl. To me, there’s something magical about a bowl of hot soup on a chilly, autumn or winter day And if there are raindrops pattering on the roof or or snowflakes softly falling, it’s even better. On days like this, somehow soup makes me feel all homey, warm and cozy. Do you know what I mean?
I get inspired to hang-out inside all day wearing my favorite soft sweatshirt and stretchy pants. I finish up projects around the house, tidy up, organize drawers, cabinets and cupboards and ……….. make more soup! Although I enjoy full course dinners with all the fancy fixings, I’m just as happy with a bowl of soup, some crusty, warm bread and a good friend or two.
Last night it was three (friends) because in addition Scott, our son, Nick and his sweet wife, Lindsay stopped by for dinner. We’ve been feeling the extended effects of Hurricane Sandy here in the Carolinas, with lots of rain and cool temperatures, so it was perfect evening for this delightful soup. Everyone at the table loved it and my Nick and Lindsay were happy to leave with leftover soup for their lunches.
You can feel good about making and serving this creamy, flavorful soup since it’s super healthy; no butter or cream, just a bit of healthy olive oil. There’s onions, shallots, garlic, chickpeas, potatoes and tiny green peas along with a mountain of spinach to fill your veggie quota! The chick peas add a bunch of extra fiber and protein. Chicken stock, fresh and dried herbs and a delicious topping of Feta cheese, butter-toasted pine nuts (just a half teaspoon of butter) and a sprinkle of bacon add tons of delicious flavor!
This is a great way to use up greens that are starting to wilt a bit. I love to buy those big boxes of fresh spinach but it seems that we can never get through the whole thing before it goes bad. Soup is a great remedy for this dilemma and arugula will work as well as spinach in this recipe.
Don’t wait for a rainy day though to whip up a batch of this yummy Spinach and Potato Soup. It’s perfect, not only for a lovely casual dinner, but it makes a delicious and beautiful appetizer soup as well. Take a pot to a friend along with all the fixings, you will be thought of fondly with each and every bite :).Your family will love finding a thermos in their lunch bag. Go ahead ………….. let the magic begin!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion roughly chopped
- 1 large shallot roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
- 64 ounces low sodium chicken broth
- 2 medium bay leaves
- 4 large yellow potatoes peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 - 15 ounce can chick peas drained and rinsed
- 6 ounces tiny frozen peas
- 5 ounces arugula spinach also works well
- 1 teaspoon sea salt more to taste
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- ½ teaspoon butter
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Feta cheese
- 4 slices cooked bacon crumbled
- In a large stock pot heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Add onions and shallots and cook until softened and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add Herbes de Provence and garlic. Cook for 1 minute longer, stirring continuously.
- Add chicken broth, bay leaves, potatoes and chick peas. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer.
- Remove from heat and discard the bay leaves. Add arugula and peas. Puree soup until smooth and silky with either a stick blender (right in the stock pot) or using a regular blender, puree soup in batches, then return to pot. Taste and season, if needed with sea salt and pepper.
- Melt butter in a small sauté pan. Add pine nuts and cook, stirring constantly until golden brown. Serve in bowls, garnished with about a tablespoon of Feta cheese topped with butter toasted pine nuts and a sprinkle of crumbled bacon.