Into this pot She placed the sun and the rain,
the fertile fields of grain,
the roots, the soil,
a hearty splash of moonlight
and the starry minerals of a dense night.
 She added the air from East to West,
 North to South,
above, below, and breath within.
All of me found its way into this clash of flavors;
only marrying together by the heat from a long, slow flame.
What appeared to be solid has long past.
I am in reality –
Cream of Love soup.

Serves 4 – 6

This is a bright green and very flavorful soup; a great vegetarian addition to a
St. Patrick’s Day celebration!

1                     Onion, chopped
1 lg                  Carrot, cut into 3 – 4 pieces
2 stalks          Celery, cut into 3 – 4 pieces
1 lg                  Potato, chopped
½                    Pasilla pepper, chopped  (or 2 shakes of dried red pepper flakes)

Place ingredients in pan and cover with water to ½ to 1″ above vegetables.  Bring pot to boil; turn down to low and simmer until soft.  Let cool briefly.  Puree in blender.  Set aside.
11 oz                 Fresh spinach, cleaned and chopped
2 oz                  Arugula
2 cl                   Garlic, pressed
⅛ tsp              Fresh nutmeg, grated
1 – 2 tsp           Sea salt
¼ tsp              White pepper
1 c                     Half & Half
4 – 6  oz           Gruyere cheese, grated

Place spinach and Arugula (if using) in pot with 2 cups water and bring to boil.  Turn down to simmer and cook briefly just to wilt the greens.  Place spinach mixture and water in blender and puree.

Add spinach mixture to vegetable puree; return to pan and gently heat.  Add 1 tsp salt, plus pressed garlic, nutmeg, and white pepper.  Next add Half & Half and bring just to a simmer, stirring often to avoid burning the bottom of the pot.  Re-taste and add up to 1 tsp additional salt if desired.

To serve, ladle into individual serving bowls and add 1 oz of grated Gruyere to each.

Spinach offers high levels of vitamin C, carotenoids, calcium, iron, and chlorophyll.  You’ve probably read that spinach contains Oxalic acid that can prevent calcium absorption. This is true, but the by the act of cooking we can neutralize the acid and eliminate the problem. While spinach salads may be safely eaten on occasion, you can easily keep nutrient-rich spinach in your diet by simply cooking briefly and adding to whatever is on the menu. Try blanching or sautéing for 30 – 60 seconds then add as the base for whatever seasoned meat, fish, or chicken you are serving. For an incredibly yummy breakfast sauté a tablespoon or two of shallots in butter then add a large handful of cleaned and chopped spinach. Sauté briefly before adding beaten eggs.