Spinach apple soup
It’s cold here! (Sigh, is she talking about the weather again?) Yes! Yes I am, but I’m not the only one! It’s news
. The Guardian UK
(online US edition) has a story on their front (virtual) page about how cold it is where I
live! It has a slideshow
of pictures of coldness! But I have to say that I’m okay with this little cold spell. Every winter we get one or two weeks of below-freezing weather, and I’m fine with that. Let me tell you why. First of all, I stay in bed from just after Christmas till late May, so it doesn’t really affect me at all. Second of all, as Jon Stewart said just this morning, it’s irrefutable proof that global warming is a hoax – the fact that it’s cold, today, where I live. And if you need further proof, it’s cold today where Jon Stewart lives and
where I live! These are the facts! Actually, I do like a very cold spell in winter, as long as it’s shortish. It feels cleansing. The summer after a mild winter always feels extra swampy, with larger stranger insects, and more germs flying around. And extreme cold feels surreal and other worldly. It feels like a reminder that the world and everything in it is so much vaster than our human understanding, and so far beyond our control. These cold spells always remind me of Faulkner’s Wild Palms, in which Charlotte and Harry strive to escape conventional morality and propriety “They had used respectability on me and…it was harder to bear than money. So I am vulnerable in neither money nor respectability now and so They will have to find something else to force us to conform to the pattern of human life, which has now evolved to do without love – to conform, or die.” The city in winter “herds people inside walls,” so they take a job in a mine in Utah, in a winter so severely cold that their underwear freezes like iron ice and their breath freezes like fire in their lungs. The landscape is wild, the people they meet are wild, and “…now they had both become profoundly and ineradicably intimate with cold for the first time in their lives, a cold which left an ineffaceable and unforgettable mark somewhere on the spirit and memory…The cold in it was a dead cold. It was like aspic, almost solid to move through, the body reluctant as though, and with justice, more than to breathe, live, was too much to ask of it.” It’s elemental, and it has stripped them down till they’re raw and vulnerable, and seem to have only each other in the world. Which was what they wanted, but more than they bargained for. “Excuse me, mountains. Excuse me, snow. I think I’m going to freeze.”
Of course, it’s not that cold here, and (hopefully) the cold spell won’t last for long. But in the meantime, we’re eating a lot of soup!! This is a bright, flavorful smooth soup, with spinach, apples, avocado and lots of ginger and lemon. It’s the sort of soup you feel might stave off a cold, and it tickles nicely in the back of your throat. When I’m feeling poorly, I have a warm drink of honey, lemon, ginger and cayenne, and all of those ingredients are to be found herein! I used a combination of spinach and arugula, which added a peppery flavor.
Here’s Tom Waits with Cold Cold Ground. Beautiful! Frozen weather makes people act strangely, I tell you!
2 T butter
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t rosemary
1 t dried sage (or a few fresh leaves, chopped)
1/3 cup white wine
2 cups (packed) baby spinach, arugula, or a mixture of the two
1 1/2 cups apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/3 inch dice
2 T rice
1 avocado, peeled, pit removed, flesh chopped
1 t ginger
1/2 t cayenne, or to taste
juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 T honey
salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper
In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots, garlic, rosemary and sage, and cook for about five minutes, until everything starts to brown. Add the white wine and cook till it’s reduced and syrupy, a few more minutes.
Add the spinach and apple, stir and cook for a few minutes until the spinach is wilted and the apple starts to become soft. Stir in the rice and avocado.
Add the ginger and cayenne, and enough water to cover everything by about half an inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the apples are very soft.
Add lemon, honey, salt and pepper. Blend/process till smooth.