Whenever I am not in the mood to cook but still want something fresh and healthy I normally pick something up at Planet Organic, a small eco-friendly grocery chain in London. Luckily there is a Planet Organic just down the street from me and just like most grocery stores, it is always stocked with plenty of wholesome and healthy food to go options. They carry a line of fresh soups from Yorkshire Provender and I regularly grab their delicious pea and fresh spinach soup with coriander (coriander is known as cilantro in the U.S.A.). I absolutely love the idea of a soup based around spinach and Yorkshire Provender’s spinach soup tastes amazing too. Since I enjoy it so much I decided to create my own version that proved to be just as delicious (if not more) and nearly as quick to make as picking it up at the store.
Spinach is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. It is filled with powerful nutrients that protect the body from damage, such as cancer and bone disease, but also work immediately to improve our skin, enhance our eyesight, slim our waist, and increase our energy. Every fruit and vegetable offers some combination and amount of these health-promoting nutrients but calorie for calorie green leafy vegetables, like spinach, provide more nutrients than any other food on this planet! Looks like Popeye had it right all along. Peas, the other main ingredient in this recipe, are extremely nutritious as well. They are filled with vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, manganese, fiber, folate, thiamin, protein, niacin, magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium just to name a few. Besides the extra nutritional boost, the peas also work nicely with the potatoes to thicken the soup and give it a creamy texture without the need for additional fat or heavy cream.
Pea and Fresh Spinach Soup
Makes 2 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 small new or baby potatoes, cubed or 1/2 small baking potato, cubed with skin on
3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
5 cups fresh spinach
1.5 cups frozen peas
2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
sea salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onion starts to soften. Add potatoes and stir for an additional minute. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through and soft. Add spinach, peas, and cilantro and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until spinach has cooked and peas are heated through. Puree soup with a blender and season with salt and pepper.
Recipe Note: Be careful if you blend the hot soup in a blender as the heat of the soup will cause the lid of the blender to pop off and soup to splash everywhere. I let the soup sit for about 20 minutes to cool off before blending and then warm the pureed soup back up on the stove top.
Nutrition facts per serving: 266 calories, 10 g total fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 613 mg sodium, 37 total carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 10 g protein
BALANCE IT OUT: Serve this healthy soup with a whole grain roll or crackers for an easy and light meal. Pair this soup with a sandwich or salad for a quick and simple dinner. Or serve it as an elegant starter at your next dinner party.