The post-Christmas let-down: late nights, over-indulgence and stress have taken their toll. I feel like I’m losing my mind. Is it Seasonally Affected Disorder, too many decisions, too much work, too much chocolate? Whatever. I need to get back on track.
A Reader’s Digest story called “Anna’s Perfect Green Soup” piqued my interest. According to cookbook author Anna Thomas, she invented this satisfying soup one winter, and it improved her mood and helped her fit into her skinny jeans. Definitely worth a try.
I Googled the recipe and found several different versions, which I adapted for what I had in my pantry (as usual.) Not only is it tasty and filling, it is packed with phytonutrients. A serving has up to 500% of the RDA of Vitamin A, 300% of Vitamin C, 25% of calcium, 30% of potassium, 20% of iron and 9 grams of protein, depending on what ingredients you use. You can use an assortment of greens, including kale, chard, mustard greens, spinach or even broccoli. Walmart carries “Power Greens,” a big bag of mixed greens which works beautifully. Here’s my version:
I plan to take it to work for lunch with some Mary’s Gone Crackers gluten free seed crackers. Seasonally Affected Disorder, get off my lawn!
Here’s the recipe:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 cups water
- ¼ cup organic brown rice (most recipes call for arborio rice, use what you like)
- 1 bunch mustard greens
- 1 bunch kale
- 12 ounce bag of baby spinach
- (Or, use an entire bag of Power Greens mix, available at Walmart)
- 32 oz carton of organic chicken broth
- Big pinch of cayenne pepper
- Fresh lemon juice
- Heat olive oil in a saute pan.
- Add chopped onions and a sprinkle of sea salt; cook over medium heat until onions are very soft and caramelized, about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine 3 cups of water, ½ teaspoon of sea salt and brown rice in soup pot.
- Heat to boiling, then reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove tough stems from kale and mustard greens and discard.
- Chop coarsely. (Use a food processor and pulse, so the greens don't get over-processed.)
- Chop the spinach, but keep separate.
- When rice has cooked 15 minutes, add greens and return to simmer and cook 10 minutes.
- Add a little of the rice/greens cooking water to the onions and stir.
- Immediately add onions back into rice/greens pot.
- Add spinach, vegetable broth and cayenne pepper. Return to simmer and cook 5 minutes or so, until spinach is tender but still bright green.
- Add soup to blender in batches and thoroughly blend until pureed and very smooth.
- Store tightly covered in the refrigerator.