Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday Night Dinner: Spinach & Leek White Bean Soup with Homemade Dinner Roll

Spinach & Leek White Bean Soup

A late dinner tonight. I was determined to have dinner rolls with my soup tonight. The first soup of the season!

Thank goodness for cooler evenings…and waking up chilly after sleeping with the windows open.

Yesterday at the Farmers' Market I finally found a few leeks. I've been dying to try leeks…forever. And have even been on the look out for them each Saturday at the market. Thinking perhaps we missed leek season since it seemed like the market started rather late this year, I had almost given up hope. But on our final leg of the market, there they were. Only about 5 stalks or bulbs or whatever the proper term would be, but they were finally there.

I had no idea what I would do with them, but I knew I had to try them. So I grabbed 2 thinking it was a safe number for us to use, even if we ended up not digging them.

After scouring the internet and my recipe books, I decided soup would be a simple and relatively fool proof way to dive into leeks. And what better way to welcome significantly cooler nights than soup!

Spinach & Leek White Bean Soup
-1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks, (everything but the top most green leaf-like part), chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped
- 70 oz of chicken broth*
- 14 oz of white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 cups couscous*
- 1-2 cups fresh baby spinach
- salt & pepper

*note: our grocery store only sells two types of couscous mix, nothing plain. I opted for Lemon Spinach variety because I would be using spinach. So caught up with indignation about the lack of couscous at the store, I promptly dumped the entire package in the soup instead of measuring a measley 1/4 cup. As a result I needed to add another 2 cans (28oz) of broth. If you are proper and actually measure only 1/4 cup of coucous, you can probably get away with only using 42oz of broth total, depending on how brothy you like your soup.

1. Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium heat.
2. Add leeks & garlic, sauté until tender. Approx 5 minutes.
3. Stir in broth, beans, bay leaf & chili powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
4. Stir in couscous, cover & simmer for approx 5 minutes.
5. Stir in spinach & season with salt and pepper.
6. Eat!

At this recipe, I had a bowl and Mike had two for dinner. I froze 2 containers that hold probably 2-3 cups. With the addition of a can or two of broth to each container we will probably be able to have dinner and lunch for both of us from each container, I'll probably add more spinach because we gobbled that all up tonight.

That's thanks to all that hearty couscous.

And because there haven't been many gratuitous puppy shots lately, I leave you with this…

Mike's Best Spooning Buddy

Mike and Nibbler spooning this afternoon. Have a nice week!

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