Random header image... Refresh for more!

slurp your greens

There is a multitude of things I like about this soup; #1 It is super green – one of my favorite colors, #2 It is super healthy – no roux or cream to thicken, and #3 It is super versatile.

Plus, it is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day thanks to its super greenness (only about 23 days away – yes I do count it down- I can’t help it – I’m 100% Irish !) It is already plenty healthy as is, but even more so when prepared vegetarian style using vegetable broth and tofu instead of chicken broth and chicken. And it is perfect for Lent, just replace the chicken with cooked and diced shrimp and you’re all set for a Friday night meal.

Spinach and Bell Pepper Soup with Chicken

2 yellow bell peppers
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 large shallot, peeled and finely diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 pound fresh baby spinach, divided
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 cups shredded cooked chicken, warmed
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup diced seeded tomato
6 lime slices

Cut off the ends of the bell peppers, slit open each pepper, and use a knife to remove the membranes and seeds. Cut 1 whole pepper and three-quarters of the second pepper into coarse dice. Finely diced the remaining one-quarter portion and set it aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large soup pot, add the diced shallot and the coarse dice bell peppers and sauté for about 5 minutes until shallots and peppers are soft, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the garlic, cilantro, and cumin; cook over low heat for 2 minutes.

It will look as if all the spinach won’t fit in the pot, but it wilts down to almost nothing quickly – yes, all the spinach from above is in the pot below!

Add all but 1 packed cup of the spinach to the pot, and set aside the 1 cup of spinach.

Stir and continue to cook until spinach is wilted, add the chicken broth, increase heat to medium-high and simmer for 10 minutes. Add lime juice and taste, adding salt and pepper as needed.

While soup simmers, heat a small skillet over medium-high heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil; sauté red onion and the reserved finely diced bell pepper until soft, add the diced tomato and heat for 2 minutes, remove from heat and set aside.

Make stacks with the reserved 1 cup packed spinach leaves, roll the stacks, and thinly slice the leaves; this style of cut is called a chiffonade, set aside.

Using a slotted spoon, lift the solids out of the soup pot and place them in a blender. Using a ladle, add a couple of ladlefuls of the liquid and blend until smooth, return to the soup pot and stir to blend. Heat soup and taste again for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.

Evenly divide the shredded chicken and the spinach chiffonade between 6 soup bowls. Gently pour or ladle the soup over and top each bowl with the sautéed onion-pepper-tomato mixture. Garnish each soup with a lime slice.

Serves 6

Print pagePDF pageEmail page


1 Connor { 02.22.10 at 10:37 AM }

am I the only one who thought the colorful things in there looked like jelly beans?

2 Linda Hopkins { 02.22.10 at 10:52 AM }

ooh Connor, the red tomato pieces do look like melting jelly beans! Maybe you’re just ready for spring break and Easter! So happy you checked my blog and commented, you made my day! xoxo

3 Laura { 02.22.10 at 6:13 PM }

I am so making this as the first course of my St. Patrick’s Dinner!

4 Linda Hopkins { 02.23.10 at 8:27 AM }

Laura, so happy to hear it! Let me know what you think, afterwards. ;-P

5 Laura { 02.23.10 at 9:17 PM }

“Green Monster” soup was a hit with my family. Easy, fun color and low fat! Tasted great with Cheese and Tomato Paninis for dinner. Used left over turkey in the soup. YUM!

6 Linda Hopkins { 02.23.10 at 9:33 PM }

Laura, so happy to hear that!

7 Ronnie Jaap { 03.04.10 at 8:30 AM }

Perfect! Book Club at my house is St. Paddy’s Day. Here’s the first step to my menu. Thanks Linda!

8 Linda Hopkins { 03.04.10 at 10:35 AM }

Oh Ronnie, the book clubbers will love having something healthy with their cocktails!

Leave a Comment