Monday, March 24, 2014

Coconut Spinach Soup

I recently discovered a new food blog, Beyond the  It features many recipes using coconut oil and coconut milk, so it caught my attention for this reason.  This particular soup takes only about 15 minutes to make, start to finish. Pzazz for sure!  

For the yogurt-cilantro sauce, I used plain goat yogurt to fit my dietary and taste preferences, but you could use whatever type you like and/or need. The sauce is definitely one I will make for other uses, too.   I think it would be great with a salsa/rice combination.  

For the cilantro, I used Garden Gourmet refrigerated cilantro paste. Just stir it into the yogurt.  As I was taking a photograph of it, I looked more carefully at the ingredients, and realized it contains a small amount of whey (milk). Hmmm..  I am on a dairy-free and gluten-free diet as a possible remedy for a type of autoimmune disease that sometimes responds well to eliminating these products.  I don't think such a small amount will make very much difference for me, but I will need to consider it more carefully before I use it again.  The ease of using this product is great, though, because it eliminates the need to puree anything. I simply stirred it into the yogurt.  These tubes also stay fresh in the refrigerator for at least a couple of months, so it tends to be cheaper than buying a whole bunch of cilantro that often doesn't get completely used at my house.  

Oh...decisions, decisions.   Only in the abundance of America do we even get to consider such possibilities and luxuries.  Speaking of luxuries.....

The ease of preparing this soup allowed me the luxury of making some gluten-free dairy-free biscuits to accompany the meal.  Yum and Pzazz!

2 cups chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
8 cups fresh spinach
2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups coconut milk (1 can) (I used Taste of Thai brand)
dash of freshly ground pepper

For the garnish:  (not included in nutritional analysis) Simply combine these ingredients by stirring or use a Magic Bullet to ensure the cilantro is pulverized well if you use fresh cilantro.  
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro or 1 Tablespoons Garden Gourmet Cilantro paste
1/4 cup plain yogurt (goat, dairy, soy, coconut, etc.)

Put the onions and garlic into a large soup pot with just enough water to simmer/sweat them over medium heat until tender, about 3 - 5 minutes.  Add the cumin, and continue cooking for another minute or so.  Add the spinach (no need to chop it) and stir frequently over low-medium heat until the spinach is wilted and tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable broth and continue cooking for about 3 - 5 minutes.  

Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender or other device. Return to the burner and stir in the coconut milk, gently heating it through.  Pour into soup bowls and garnish with the cilantro-yogurt sauce.
 Relax and enjoy!

Nutrition per serving:
Servings per recipe: 7
Serving Size: 1 cup
Calories: 49
Total Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 73 mg
Total Carbs: 7 g
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 2 g

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