Some tortures are physical
And some are mental,
But the one that is both
Off and on since October I’ve been the frequent recipient of the benefits of modern dentistry, at which I am amazed and for which I am greatly thankful. Still, more than once while waiting “for things to settle down” I’ve had the proverbial aching tooth that is so distracting and mentally consuming. Just to prevent pain and promote recovery I was on two different occasions instructed to eat “nothing harder than spaghetti” for three days. That means no crunchy vegetables, which are one of my favorite munchies. It’s a good thing I have many soup recipes, and it’s also good that I had made a giant batch of this one before the torture began.
I made it with kale this time, and Mr. Glad thought that version was not half as good as the original spinach, but I could still slurp it by the quart. It’s the anise seed that makes it special. The recipe is pretty straightforward; I usually multiply it x8 so that I can have it in the freezer and at-the-ready. It loses nothing by waiting in the freezer and is a great accompaniment to any Italian main dish. I like it just as well without the cheese and lemon.
FLORENTINE SPINACH SOUP
1 T. olive oil
½ c. each thinly sliced celery and green onion
2 tsp. anise seed
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach (other leafy greens may be substituted)
3 c. regular-strength chicken broth
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
grated Parmesan cheese
Pour oil into a 3-4 qt. Pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add celery, onion, and anise seed to pan; stir occasionally until vegetables just begin to brown, 8-10 minutes. Add spinach, broth, and pepper; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
Pour soup, a portion at a time, into a blender or food processor (or use immersion blender?), and whirl until smoothly puréed. Reheat if necessary, pour into bowls, and offer lemon wedges and cheese to add to taste. Makes four servings (unless you are serving someone like me, who would want to eat this whole pot.)