Meatless Meals

Meatless Friday: Bean and Spinach Soup

For Lent, I’ve decided to feature a meatless recipe on my blog once a week. I may continue throughout the rest of the year since we’re doing meatless Friday every week now.

For my first pick, I chose a soup. I absolutely adore soup. It’s the perfect lunch, as far as I’m concerned, and it makes a darn good dinner, too. I originally found a similar recipe on Pinterest, but this is my own version of it. I like to make a large pot, then spoon it up into Ziploc bowls and freeze it so I have it on hand. So much tastier (and healthier) than buying canned soups with all that sodium!

Ingredients

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4 cups chicken broth (I use Wyler’s reduced sodium bouillon)
1 cup water
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15-ounce can Great Northern beans
1/2 cup cooked rice
1/2 cup finely chopped onion 
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon salt (I use kosher salt because it’s cooler)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper 
1 teaspoon garlic salt
4 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach 
Finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Now, I used about twice as much rice as that when I made it and ended up with twice as much rice as I wanted. Also, I didn’t measure any of the seasonings, I just sprinkled and tasted until it was good. I suggest you do the same.

So, off we go.

First, you want to cook your onions in just a smidge of olive oil.

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Once that’s done, dump in your beans, tomatoes, and chicken broth. And yes, chicken broth is okay.

Now, for the seasonings.

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This is where it starts to smell just divine! Once you’ve got your seasonings where you want them, let it simmer for about 20 minutes. This would be a good time to cook your rice and chop up your spinach.

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After your soup has had a chance to simmer, stir in your rice and spinach and let it cook for about 5 minutes longer. It’s important not to put the rice in until the very end because it will split and take on a funky texture if it cooks too long!

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Don’t worry if it seems like too much spinach. Once it starts to cook, it shrinks up real fast!

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Now, spoon it up, sprinkle on a little Parmesan cheese and enjoy! This is very similar to a pasta e fagioli without meat, and with rice instead of noodles. Delicious, but not decadent, and a wonderful pick for a Lenten lunch or supper.

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Just remember, it’s Lent: Only one bowl!

 

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