White Bean and Spinach Soup with Leeks

White Bean and Spinach Soup with Leeks

White Bean and Spinach Soup with Leeks

I had high hopes for this weekend. I wanted to go into the city early on Saturday, buy a companion fish for my upside down catfish, buy some groceries at the Union Square Green Market, and rush home to cook a fabulous meal. What I wasn’t counting on was spending most of the weekend fighting off a cold/flu in bed.

After sleeping in bed for most of the weekend, by Sunday afternoon I was starting to gain back some of my strength. I didn’t want the whole weekend to be a wash so I wanted to cook something that would give me strength but that I could also feel accomplished cooking.

I recently had a really wonderful white bean soup at El Quijote restaurant in New York City. My family has been going there for years to celebrate birthdays, graduations, and any other special events that happen in our lives. I had the soup on my last visit and really enjoyed it. I made sure to add it on to my “must-make” list and found this to be a perfect opportunity to give it a try.

The Parmesan Rind... I knew this would come in handy...

The Parmesan Rind... I knew this would come in handy...

White Bean and Spinach Soup with Leeks – serves 4

36 ounces of Chicken Broth
1 cup of water
1 lb white beans
6 cloves of garlic, minced
4 leeks (bulbs), diced
½ white onion, diced
2 carrots, cut into ½ in. pieces
1 large potato, cubed into 1 in. pieces
1 parmesan cheese rind
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp rosemary
2 tbsp salt
½ tbsp pepper
  1. Heat water in a pot. Once the water is hot, turn the heat off, add the beans and let sit for one hour. Once the beans are done soaking, drain and rinse with water in a colander.
  2. 10 minutes before the beans are done soaking, add olive oil to the pot you will cook the soup in and turn on the heat to medium. After a few minutes add the leeks and onions and stir until softened, or about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the chicken broth, beans, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary to the pot. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 40-50 minutes or until the beans are almost fully cooked, stirring occassionally.
  4. Add carrots and potatoes to the soup and cook for another 15 minutes. Feel free to add ½ cup-1 cup of water to the soup if you feel it is necessary at this point.
  5. Add spinach and let wilt into the soup, about 5 minutes or so. Stir occassionally.
  6. Serve topped with freshly grated parmesan
The soup bubbling away

The soup bubbling away

The soup came out really great and it really helped to clear up my sinuses… at least for a little while. I also made enough to have for a lunch and dinner this week. It was really filling, had lots of fresh vegetables, and even though it took a long time to make, it was mostly a hands off meal.  Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to call this soup my “cure your cold and flu white bean soup”.

Update: While it wasn’t my complete cure all it really did help to clear up my sinuses. However, it was no match for my fever so I ended up staying home sick yesterday. The silver lining? I got to have the soup for dinner last night and after having sat for a day it was even more packed with flavor! So how am I feeling today? Not 100%, but I am posting this so that’s a good sign!

Crispy Potato and Spinach Frittata

Crispy Potato and Spinach Frittata with Cheddar Cheese

Crispy Potato and Spinach Frittata with Cheddar Cheese

I wasn’t sure what to make for dinner but knew I wanted something quick and filling. I love breakfast for dinner and usually make myself an omelette or an egg in a basket as a quick fix. I was extra hungry yesterday and had a bag of spinach and a few potato’s that were almost on their way out. My quick fix? The Frittata!

I’ve always loved the idea of a frittata- fluffy on top and stuffed with all kinds of interesting ingredients- but was worried that I didn’t have the right types of pans to make one in the oven, the way frittata’s are normally made. Well, I found a few recipes that explained the science of making stove-top frittata’s so I decided to give it a shot.

I’ve got to say- it was fun and easy to make, looked so pretty on my plate, and was absolutely delicious and completely satisfying. The trick to making it on the stove is keeping the heat low and covering the frittata once all the ingredients are added. After about 7-9 minutes it’s ready to be transferred to a plate and sliced for eating.

Sliced Frittata

Sliced Frittata

Crispy Potato and Spinach Frittata – 4 servings

3 potatoes, shredded and drained well
5 eggs
1 bag of baby spinach
1/4 large Spanish onion
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of olive oil
A splash of cream
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Shred and draining the potatoes well. I drained them with lots of paper towels, but ideally, you would use a rice strainer.

2. On medium heat, heat up about a teaspoon of olive oil in a wide flat pan and throw the potatoes in to cook covered for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. I kicked the heat up for the last few minutes because I like crispy potatoes- but that’s just me.

3. While the potato’s are cooking, scramble 5 eggs in a bowl with a splash of cream. For a healthier version, you can use 3 egg white and 2 whole eggs and leave out the cream.

4. After the potatoes are cooked, throw in the onions and garlic to cook. Lower the heat and throw in the spinach to wilt covered, stirring occasionally.

5. Pour the scrambled eggs into the pan and move around the eggs a bit to distribute the ingredients evenly and to make sure the eggs cook evenly. Cook covered for 7-9 minutes.

6. Once the frittata is cooked throughout, slice a knife along the edge of the pan to ensure that it will slide out easily. Put a large plate on top of your pan (please use oven mitts for this part) and carefully flip the frittata on top on the plate. Top with any shredded cheese you like.

The finished Frittata - before cheese

The finished Frittata - before all the cheese.

It’s that simple! I was eating about 25 minutes after walking in the door. AND! I made enough so I could have leftover’s today for lunch! I was really pleased to see how easy it was to make- and am really excited to using all different kinds of ingredients to make even better Frittata’s!

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