Can Bliss Be Nutritional? ~ Recipe Saturday ~ 1/12/13


Spinach (Photo credit: stormgrass)

Seriously, the irony is not lost on me that I am providing you with recipes. For a number of reasons I am about the last person to provide information on cooking. Here is why:

1. I generally do not like to spend more than thirty minutes in the kitchen as it does not take the people I cook for thirty minutes to eat what I have prepared. It takes them five minutes. I like a balance between the time I put into a project and what I get out of a project. (Yes, I call cooking a project). I will put in more time when I have company as the time it takes them to eat the food is more than five minutes.

2. I am a gourmet reader of cookbooks. I am not a gourmet cook. I am barely a cook. I hardly ever follow a recipe. The fact that I have fed my family for about thirty years and they have not died from malnutrition gives me a gold star in my book.

3. I generally do not use a recipe that calls for more than five ingredients or has more than three steps.

4. I hate to clean up after I cook.

So, what makes today’s recipe special (blissful even, since that is the topic of the year)? It has more than five ingredients. It has more than three steps. It is not quite gourmet but pretty darn close for me. But it is soup so it makes more than one meal. It is healthy and my husband likes it. Usually those two phrases do not go together.

I must warn you that when I provide recipes—they are sometimes written down quickly, the steps truncated, and they are not triple tested by me. They are maps, not definite trips. But I try to be as clear as I can be. Without further ado, here is a recipe I enjoyed at my sister’s, wrote down, and made. It is good and warming on a winter day:

White Bean and Spinach Soup


2 tsp. of olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Pinch hot pepper flakes

1 –  19 oz. can of white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

5 cups of chicken stock or 1  – 10 oz. tin chicken broth plus water to make up 5 cups

½ cup small pasta (macaroni, stars or wheels)

3/4 lb. fresh chopped spinach or 10 oz. frozen

1 tomato diced

Salt and pepper to taste (always feel so creative when something is to “taste”)

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I used dried—certainly not 2 tbsp though)


1. Cook onion, garlic, and hot pepper flakes on low until tender (of course I cooked them on high—I cook everything on high—though I am learning to turn the heat down).

2. Add beans and stock—bring to boil. Season with salt and pepper “to taste”.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for ten minutes.

3. Puree soup and return to heat. (I did not puree, but mashed it a bit). Add pasta and cook 5-10 minutes or until tender. Soup will thicken.

4. Add fresh spinach and cook until just wilted – 2 – 3 minutes. (Frozen—I suppose you thaw it out— I used fresh).

5. Add tomato.

I don’t know where the parsley came in— guess I did not write it down. Since I used dry—I am sure I just threw it in with the spinach. Most of you are more highly developed cooks then I, so you make the decision.

Makes six servings.


January 2010 Snow Scene

January Snow Scene (Photo credit: ς↑r ĴΛϒκ❂)

I love this soup, though I am pretty sure I only added about half of the fresh spinach. My husband loved it—so that was a super bonus. It is good for you too. Nutrition can be bliss.

Do you have a healthy recipe that tastes really, really good?

Published in: on January 12, 2013 at 1:23 pm  Comments (42)  
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42 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Remember I told you about my new Nutribullet that I got for Christmas that you can make nutricious drink in? Well, I hate spinach (yuck, yuck!!), but I have been putting a handful of spinach in my nutriblast drink every day along with fresh and frozen fruits, and I am really really enjoying them. Mike has been making vegetable drinks every day with it too! It’s a very quick and easy way to get your fruits and veggies in your diet every day :). Hope you have a great weekend LouAnn!!!

  2. Piper will love this! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  3. It’s so cold that I’ll make soup tonight, this sounds great, with the substitution of veg broth for the chicken. Looks great!

  4. I don’t have recipes that I cook from, I tend to just toss in what is available or needing to be eaten. I eat plenty of soups from bean soups to Italian wedding soups and everything in between. It’s healthy, low in calories and fat, and satisfies like nothing else on cold days. Tonight is a split pea soup, can’t wait.

    • I love soups–especially the just throw everything in kind–enjoy your split pea tonight–it is one of my husband’s favorites

  5. I don’t cook. So- I eat whatever is put n front of my face – LOL 🙂

    • if someone cooked for me there would be no complaints either – you are one lucky girl

  6. Yes, I call that a blissful receipe. I’ve made different versions of this receipe using cabbage or swiss chard instead of spinach and differentr spices. This is a receipe that you can do a lot with. One does not need to follow anything to the letter. Only thing I follow or cookie and cake receipes. This one is basic- bean, pasta, chicken stock. I use tomato paste

    I am much like you. I hate clean up past cooking. Of late I have tried to get in the habit of washing all utensils as soon as the pot/plate, table ware has been used. Since I only have (myself) to cook for, it is a bit easier.

    Did I not just see over at “Arkansas skies” guy? You commented just ahead of me.

    The weather here is dull, gray, misty, and “yucky.” also.


    • yep – that was me –but it is warm here–which is a wierd thing to say in January

  7. yum! sounds delicious & nutritious ~ i love white beans in a soup

  8. Oh my.. two of my favorite foods in one dish..spinach and beans.. Yummy.. yes, a good home cooked meal is so very blissful!!

  9. Haha! I think I’ve found yet another way that we’re alike! You and I cook like twins! I put everything on high, too! Lol!
    I wrote a post about my cooking skills, or lack thereof. I may have to reblog it.
    This actually sounds DELICIOUS! Maybe a little advanced for me, but I’m gonna give it a try. 😉

    • It is not too advanced for you if I made it–really I am the most backwards cook there is

  10. Sounds very yummy! I’m so glad your family haven’t died from malnutrition – LOL 😀

    • so are they–though when I make them food and do not eat it myself, they get suspicious

  11. I love your comment – “They are maps, not definite trips.”. I too try to keep the ingredients and steps to a minimum in my cooking. It usually makes for good meals, though. Your soup sounds great – I might give it a try too.

    • I think you will be happy with it — I am a simple cook and I loved it! How is the moving going–sounds like quite a process!

  12. In 30 minutes you can make a pretty good meal….look at Rachel Raye. Love the phrase “gourmet reader of cookbooks. “. Made this soup last week….threw some sausage in for the carnivor I live with….was pretty tasty.

    • that is so true–you can throw a pretty good meal together in 30 minutes — it is getting that pasta water to boil that is the trick for many dishes
      love this soup–thanks for the recipe

  13. Oh, I like your comment…”gourmet reader of cookbooks…” describes me perfectly! I do like to cook, but I’m much more into the reading than the cooking! ~ Sheila

    • and don’t forget the pictures – don’t you find they help a lot?

      • I find that I often gravitate to recipes in the same way I’m enticed by clothing in a catalog. The better the photo, the more likely I am to try the recipe! And I love the way so many food blogs do step by step. Most prep processes I’m familiar with, but now and then it’s really useful to see the recipe in stages. Happy reading / cooking! ~ Sheila

  14. I LOVE spinach, it’s one of my very favourite things to eat, not just a favourite vegetable, but a favourite food! I’m like you with cooking too, my cooking aspirations are much greater than my cooking realities. Soups are good because they are very forgiving, they don’t require precise measurements of anything and the cooking time is flexible. One of my favourite soups to make is butternut squash soup.

    I have a veg box delivered every week from local farms, it’s great, I don’t get to pick what goes in it, it’s just whatever is ready and in season, and it still has mud on it and stuff, it’s like a friend has brought me round some pickings from their garden. I’ll quite often end up with veg that I haven’t used, so I’ll just make a big pot of soup with whatever veg there is, and then take it to work for a few days in a flask for lunch.

    • Soup is forgiving and satisfying, but don’t you also find it creative–you can make it your own by adding stuff you never added before
      Your veg box sounds so interesting–like opening a present every week not knowing what is going to be in it

  15. Leek and potato soup, hot or cold (Vichyssoise) is also quick and easy ~ thanks for the recipe ~ most unexpected (!) heh-heh 🙂

    • you are laughing at me–and rightly so–but I know there are a ton of us out there that have to cook who do not necessarily want to cook–I am their leader
      I love leek and potato soup–show me your recipe

  16. Looks tasty. I use garlic or onion but never both in same dish. Like spinach omelet and spinach pizza both with feta.

  17. i loved your reasons…that five minutes to eat thing is quite annoying and why i never ever make thanksgiving dinner. but i have learned to like to cook and cooking with a friend makes the five minute rule not so hard to take.

    • cooking with others is something I like to do–being stuck in the kitchen by myself (unless I have a glass of wine which does not happen often) is the pits

  18. I can’t tell you how timely this recipe is!! We have a bag of spinach in the frig that needs using–now. I am going back up to study the ingredients and just may make it today or tomorrow. Thank you!

    • you are welcome–hope you can make it work for you

      • Well, I printed it out at least. 🙂

      • god – let me know what you think after you use it 🙂

  19. […] Can Bliss Be Nutritional? ~ Recipe Saturday ~ 1/12/13 ( […]

  20. […] Can Bliss Be Nutritional? ~ Recipe Saturday ~ 1/12/13 ( […]

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