Green Spinach & Tahini Soup
There was a sidewalk sale at my campus bookstore several years ago. It was around the time I had started feeling unexplainably sick, and the title of one of the books grabbed by attention - it was called "You Are What You Eat" and was filled with ingredients that were completely unusual to me. Things like adzuki beans and seaweeds. With almost constant nausea and terrible stomach pains, the idea of feeling better by changing my diet was simultaneously hopeful and novel to me. I can remember reading the recipes, feeling a bit lost because they were really different from what I had grown up eating, and then putting it away for awhile. The book came with me when I moved to Toronto for grad school, and I tentatively began trying a few things. One stand-out that I loved was a quick spinach soup made using a ton of spinach, and a bit of soy milk. I really think the recipes in that book would suit me much better nowadays, because I eat really differently than I used to. Sadly though, the book went missing on my move back to Niagara. I do remember that spinach soup though, and I miss it.
I've been trying to get creative with veggies and eggs because I've been following a candida diet the past couple weeks and it's pretty limiting. The idea for this soup came to me as I was staring into my fridge, packed with cruciferous veggies, jars of tahini and almond butters, bunches of herbs and a carton of eggs ... A bright green soup, made creamy with tahini and garnished with poached egg and other delicious things that also add some heft. We've actually had this for dinner twice in the last week, and I've brought leftover soup with me to work a couple times too. Super good, easy and quick enough to make even when you're tired and grumpy ... I think we can all use a recipe like that!
Enjoy this lovely green soup, and happy February! xo
Green Spinach & Tahini Soup
This soup comes together in about 15 minutes once all your ingredients are prepped. The tahini adds creaminess and a bit of body, but doesn't overpower the soup. To make this vegan, omit the ghee and don't use the poached egg garnish. This recipe is acceptable for paleo and candida diets - I've read conflicting opinions about mushrooms for candida diets, some say they're helpful and others feel they're harmful. If you're following the candida diet, go with how you feel on the matter and if you're avoiding mushrooms, try some roasted cumin-spiced cauliflower as a garnish instead. Makes 4 servings.
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced (reserve a small handful of leaves, if you have them)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper, plus extra to taste
1 1/4 tsp sea salt, plus extra to taste
1 litre water
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 cups parsley leaves, tightly packed
6 cups baby spinach, packed
2 tbsp tahini
1 tsp ghee (optional - omit if vegan)
Garnish (all optional but delicious!):
1 egg per serving
white wine vinegar
8 oz package shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp coconut oil or avocado oil
1/4 tsp sea salt
herbs (parsley, basil, cilantro are all nice)
Place a medium-sized pot over medium heat and add the coconut oil. Swirl to melt, then add the diced onion. Saute for a few minutes, then add diced celery, garlic, salt and ground pepper. Cook for a few more minutes until softened. Add the water and apple cider vinegar and bring to a simmer.
Once simmering, add the parsley, baby spinach and celery leaves and stir. Once the greens have wilted, remove from heat. Puree using a hand blender, or transfer (in batches, if necessary) to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Add tahini and ghee, blend again, and taste - add extra salt (I generally add another 1/4 teaspoon), pepper, or tahini to taste. It should be balanced, light and slightly salty and you should be able to taste the pepper.
As the soup comes to a simmer, heat a small pan to medium high for the mushrooms. Add oil, sliced shiitakes, and salt and stir. Let the mushrooms sit in the pan without stirring for 2 minutes, then stir and leave to sear for another 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to low until ready to use.
Check out this helpful post for instructions on how to poach eggs. I'm not a pro at this, but I follow these instructions and they work!
To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Carefully add a poached egg to each bowl, then garnish with herbs, pea shoots, sauteed shiitake mushrooms, hemp hearts and extra black pepper.
Leftovers keep well refrigerated for 3 days. Reheat gently to serve. Enjoy!