The other way to make January feel a little brighter, I mean beyond marshmallows plump with peppermint, should really come as no surprise.
Cold days call for one thing, and it’s the kind of thing you probably wouldn’t mind eating on not-so-cold days, either: hot homemade soup.
Now, if this were any other food group, you might be tempted to point out that, hey, you just wrote about another soup, that potato and onion one, last week, didn’t you?
You could legitimately ask, what, is this going to be like the cookies now, where you all get on a kick with something and make them over and over again?
So I’m very glad it is soup – hot, comforting, perfectly seasoned soup – that’s in question. Or else I’d have very little to say in my defense.
So first things first, this is a spinach soup. Spinach is one of those things – along with tomatoes, asparagus, parmesan cheese and pecans – that I had to grow to enjoy.
I liked Popeye as much as the next kid (although maybe not as much as my mom, who calls the real-life movie version her favorite), but even he didn’t make me want to eat leafy vegetables.
Instead, spinach and I grew together slowly, beginning in my late teens or early twenties with dishes that almost hid the spinach content, such as lasagna, calzones, or spinach-artichoke dip, which is filled with enough cream cheese and other things to make your forget your name, let alone what you’re eating.
Then I think I moved towards fresh spinach in salads, sometime after I learned iceberg lettuce has basically no nutritional value and back when I tried to eat strictly “healthy” things for a while.
Somewhere along the line, spinach kind of sneaked up on me as a faithful friend. It was almost as if one day, I realized I actually thought spinach was delicious, that most things I’d tried it in were things I liked eating.
And now, I’ll be darned if I don’t like it steamed or boiled or cooked up into some sort of quiche or frittata. In fact, you could say, if it’s got spinach, I’m in.
Also, as a quick nutritional plug: Not only is spinach seriously worth letting grow on you for the taste factor, but also it is good for you like Popeye said.
When steamed or, like in this soup, quickly boiled, it is a source of all kinds of vitamins, like A, C, K, magnesium and B9 (folic acid).
I don’t know about you, but at the start of a new year, something comforting, delicious and healthy? I don’t think it could get much better.
And, a few sips of this soup in your belly and the smell of it wafting through your kitchen, savory and strong, I bet you’ll be saying the same thing.
Mastering the Art of French Cooking available on Amazon
This recipe was adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by the brilliant Julia Child.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna has a Masters in Writing through Depaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.