Friday, March 15, 2013

Eatin of the Green!!!

 Have you noticed that I have been making a lot of soup lately???  Last week one of the stars of the meal was spinach.......... and here again it is the featured player.  I am not sure what is going on with my love affair with spinach lately.  I even put it in a smoothie the other day and it was actually good! (of course I loaded it with blueberries and pineapple so it would be impossible to taste it!!)  I love it in a spinach salad, but it's only been the last ten years or so that I loved it in just about any form.

I grew up watching Popeye and learning the importance of eating this nutritious green vegetable. My Mom served it to my Dad and I every couple of weeks.  But there was only one way he would eat it and I bet you can't guess.  Give up??  Creamed BABY spinach.  Yep - I am serious - real live baby food spinach was the only way it was served in our home - and the only way Dad would eat it, so of course it was the only way I would eat it as well.  In later years he would learn the joys of Boston Market's creamed spinach and was delighted when I got the copycat recipe and made it for him!  But it was a long slow progression from baby food to Boston Market!!!  I don't think  my kids even know that story - oops!!

So I have quite a history with spinach and am so grateful I progressed from baby food or I would never have tried this fabulous Italian Wedding Soup from Iowa Girl Eats.   l love her blog.

My mouth was watering for this soup and I was eager to get all of the ingredients ready for this relatively quick and easy dinner.  Since I was unable to find the tiny mini meatballs, I got a bag of ready made minis from Trader Joe's and cut them in quarters.  The next thing that was going to take time was the thawing and draining of the frozen spinach.  And even though I had just picked up a bag at the grocery store, I was pretty sure I had seen another bag in the freezer and wanted to use it up first.  So I grabbed it and  dropped the contents into the strainer in the sink.  The minute I dumped it out of the bag I knew I had a problem.  It was super icy and what green I could see  looked dried out and rather disgusting.  I pulled the bag back out of the trash and it said "sell by June 2009"!!  OMG -  that was embarrassing!  Good thing I had plan B - the new bag I had just purchased.  So I quickly dumped that in the trash and started over with spinach that looked like it could actually be edible!!  And no  -- I am not sharing pictures of that!!

So after a rough start, this soup went together easily and simply.  The only changes I made to the recipe on the linked blog above, is that I used shallots instead of the onion and doubled the garlic. When it comes to garlic, my philosophy is usually - if whatever the suggested amount is good; double is better. That garlic math has not failed me yet!!

The chicken broth is bubbling with the spinach, garlic and shallots.

Now you can see all of those wonderful ingredients bubbling together.  Had to add a more green on top with the parsley!!

The layer of mozzarella cheese on top made it that much better - but cheese makes everything better, right?

I wasn't sure this would be one of my favorites because of ALL of the spinach and the meatballs - but the different flavors really play well with each other and make it a real treat in your mouth with each bite/slurp!!  I hope you will try this soup soon - you will love it! Pin It Now!

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