Friday, February 24, 2017

White Bean, Spinach and Garlic Soup from Christine Datian

My version of Christine Datian's soup
I don’t know how cold it gets where you live during the winter, but it never gets very cold in south Florida. That’s a fact, not a complaint!

Regardless of the outside temperature, soup is a regular part of our menu.

Christine Datian’s recipe for 'White Bean, Spinach, and Garlic Soup' recently appeared on page 15 in The Armenian Mirror-Spectator, and she’s asked me to share it with you. Before posting it, I made the soup, tweaking it according to the ingredients I had on hand. (See below)

I’m sure you’ll appreciate the comforting effects of her stick-to-your-ribs, heartwarming soup as much as we did!

Just click the 'Read More' link for the recipe.

White Bean, Spinach and Garlic Soup – Christine Datian

4 slices low-sodium, thick-style bacon, cut into small pieces
2 to 3 (15 oz.) cans white beans and their liquid (Great Northern or Cannellini beans)
1 lb. fresh spinach, washed and chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 celery ribs, including tops, chopped
2 carrots, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
9 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth (water may be used)
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 Tbsp. dry white wine
Kosher or sea salt, chopped fresh rosemary, tarragon, thyme, to taste (dried herbs may be used instead)
½ tsp. each of black or white pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne or paprika
2 thick slices of day-old Italian or French bread, diced
Minced parsley
Grilled Italian or French or Ciabatta bread


Cook bacon until browned; drain, crumble; set aside.

In a large pot add 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil. Sauté onions, celery, carrots and garlic until vegetables are golden. Add half of the crumbled bacon.

Add beans and their liquid, bay leaf, broth, tomato paste, wine herbs and spices. Bring to a full boil.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook 45- 60 minutes or until all vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add more broth or water, if necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

If you wish, blend soup with an immersion blender or hand mixer for 1 minute until desired smoothness is achieved. (Robyn’s note: Remove the bay leaf before using the immersion blender.)

Add chopped spinach and diced bread to soup; cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with remaining crumbled bacon and minced parsley.

Serve with grilled bread.

In my version, I followed Christine’s directions but used the following ingredients:

2 slices cooked turkey bacon - crumbled; 1- 15 oz. can of Navy beans with their liquid; ½ bag of frozen, chopped spinach; ½  onion-diced, 1 diced carrot, 2 small cloves garlic; 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, 1 heaping Tbsp. red pepper paste, a splash of vermouth, dried oregano and basil, salt, pepper, and dash of cayenne. The celery and bread were omitted since I didn’t have those on hand.

I microwaved the onion, carrot and garlic in some chicken broth to help reduce the total cooking time to about 30 minutes. The soup was garnished with some of the crumbled bacon.

Doug and I enjoyed the soup very much.

We had the rest of the soup for lunch the next day but added some leftover, cooked elbow macaroni creating Pasta Faggioli – with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, of course!

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