As everyone kicks off the New Year with health resolutions, I am sharing one of my favorite soups. It isn’t low in fat, but it is packed with calcium.
One of the reasons I love this recipe is that it fits my specific dietary needs. As a runner, weight isn’t my concern. In fact, I probably need more of the healthy fats than others. I am also the perfect candidate for osteoporosis: petite, white, Caucasian female. While the debate about dairy rages, I look for it in all food sources. Did you know that one of the best sources for calcium is in dark green vegetables? Over the last several years I’ve made a conscious effort to consume more spinach, Swiss chard, and broccoli. (I can’t make myself eat kale….maybe one day).
Cream of broccoli soup, with spinach, butter, cream, and the optional cheese? It’s a calcium (albeit very green) powerhouse meal. I hope you enjoy!
Cream of Broccoli and Spinach Soup
1 cube butter
1 medium sized sweet onion, chopped in large chunks
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups cream
4 cups broccoli florets
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. all-spice
1-2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated (optional)
In a large saucepan, combine the margarine, onion, and bay leaf. Sweat the onion in the butter for about 10 minutes, then add the potatoes and chicken broth. Bring the chicken broth to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, place broccoli in a microwave-safe cooking container, and add 1/2-1 cup water. Cook broccoli in microwave until florets are tenderized. Remove from microwave; set aside.
Two or three minutes before the potatoes are fully cooked, drop the spinach into the broth. When potatoes are cooked and spinach wilted, take the saucepan off the burner and remove the bay leaf. Put everything into a blender, and blend until smooth. The broth should be quite thick. Return to the saucepan and over low heat, add the cream, thyme, and all-spice. Add cheese at this point if you desire. Make sure the liquid DOES NOT boil again, or soup will be ruined. Add broccoli to the soup, and serve immediately.