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Today is the day after Christmas. You probably don’t want any more sweets. You were probably sick of eating cookies and candy well before Christmas Day even rolled around (especially, if like myself, you went to several cookie swaps before Christmas!)

So when I was assigned Laura’s blog, A Healthy Jalapeno, for this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I wanted to find something light and healthy for the day after Christmas. I had a hard time deciding which recipe to go with, (she does have healthy in her blog title after all.

But then.

Then.

I saw the word “goat cheese” in the title of her Spinach and Goat Cheese Bisque.

My heart stopped.

Well maybe it just skipped a beat.

And if hearts could drool, it most certainly did.

Goat cheese and I have a long (quite happy) history: i.e. Artichoke Pizza with Goat Cheese and Olives, Artichoke and Goat Cheese Strata, Goat Cheese and Couscous Stuffed Eggplant, Roasted Onions stuffed with Goat Cheese and Sun-dried Tomatoes, Tomatoes Stuffed with Couscous, Goat Cheese, and Zucchini.

Clearly, this list needs a soup on it.

And this recipe is loaded with spinach, which is an amazing leafy green—packing in antioxidants (which can help eyesight—great pro for the near blind like me), and it’s a great source of vitamins C and E (keep that immune system strong!) Plus, great source of fiber—all while having almost zero calories.

Plus, did I mention there was goat cheese?

Creamy Spinach and Goat Cheese Soup (Adapted from A Healthy Jalapeno)

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 tbsp plus 2 cups water, divided
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp Marsala
  • 1 (32 oz) package low-sodium vegetable broth (4 cups)
  • 2 (11 oz) packages of baby spinach (24 cups, or 1 1/4 lbs)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 oz crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and 1/4 tsp salt; cook, stirring constantly until the onions are soft and slightly brown, about 5 minutes. (Stir constantly to prevent burning.)
  2. Reduce the heat to low; add 2 tbsp of water and the thyme. Cook, stirring frequently until the pan cools down a bit, then cover the pan and let onions cook, stirring occasionally, until they have a deep caramel color, about 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the remaining 2 cups of water and 1/4 tsp of salt in a large Dutch oven. Add the potato and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, maintaining a simmer, and cook the potatoes until they are fork-tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. When the onions are done cooking, stir in the Marsala. Then add them and the vegetable broth to the Dutch oven. Return mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and stir in the spinach (this will have to be done in two batches. Wilt the first batch, then add the second.) Cook the spinach for just a few minutes (3-5)–just enough so it wilts, but not too long so that it keeps its vibrant green color. Add in the nutmeg and cayenne pepper.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the goat cheese until it melts. Stir in the lemon juice.
  6. Blend the soup in 3 batches (or use an immersion blender). Return to pot, heat on low, and adjust seasonings to your taste. Serve immediately with a nice dollop of goat cheese and extra lemon juice if desired.

My Two Cents: Ah, love.

There were so many wonderful things about this soup. First, I almost never make soup with cream of half and half in them. So when I find a soup that’s packed with flavor and the feeling like it is filled with rich cream, but it’s not, is so rewarding.

The caramelized onions bumped this soup up from just “good” to “outstanding”. It added an extra depth of flavor that actually intensified the next day. I believe Laura said the soup was a little nutty, and she’s right. The goat cheese combined with the nutmeg and onions gave it a tiny hint of nutty.

Let’s not forget about the color. I’ve never eaten something such a vibrant shade of green. In fact, I’m a little sorry the reveal day for this SRC is the day after Christmas. Imagine serving this as your first course for Christmas dinner! ;)

I have no doubts in my mind you will truly love this soup. And check out A Healthy Jalapeno—she’s got some stellar stuff on there!

:)
Secret Recipe Club

Click the link below to see ALL the recipes from today’s Secret Recipe Club Swap.


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