A lot of my recipes are born of “Holy guacamole I have a lot of [random ingredient]! What am I gonna do with it?” In this case, the ingredient was spinach, and why I developed this white bean soup.
Last year, I planted a small row of spinach and got two or three servings of salad from them. This year, I thought, I have an extra garden bed now so why not plant an extra row?
Well, apparently it was a good year and my new garden bed was juuuust right for growing spinach because the plants are GIANT. We’re talking 4-5” leaves at the bottom. No messing around.
Spinach corner. They’re taller than they look.
In the span of two weeks, they tripled in size and then everything bolted, so I had to pick and process it all within a week. I love gardening, but I will complain briefly about this phenomenon. When things are ready, they are ready and they don’t care that you already had plans this week.
Damn it, Spinach! Why couldn’t you be a little more considerate of my schedule! 😂
Spinach Health Benefits
It’s lucky that spinach is so good for you! It’s harder to be mad about being inundated with health benefits.
“Oh nooo, I have so many densely nutritious greens that I shall never be short of vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, or manganese again!” *Faints dramatically*
Fun fact about the health benefits of spinach: cooking spinach makes the vitamins and minerals easier to absorb, including calcium and iron. If you have a mineral deficiency in one of these (they’re common) or are trying to prevent one, more spinach in soups is a tasty way to boost your levels!
Freezer prep for the rest of the spinach. Goodbye morning, hello podcast catch up!
Spinach in soup recipes
Needless to say, Mission ‘Find All of the Spinach Recipes’ was in full force. After much mucking around on the interwebs, I created this mash up of several 'spinach in soup' recipes and added navy beans because I thought they were the perfect complementary protein. And I must say...not bad, self, not bad.
It’s basically my take on a one-pot vegetarian recipe for Tuscan white bean soup. Hearty and creamy without being heavy. And can I just say that I love fresh parsley? Full disclosure, I was actually almost out of celery, so I did one stalk plus a few tablespoons of fresh lovage (think parsley with a strong celery flavour, if you aren’t familiar with the herb).
What’s best of all is that these flavours will carry beautifully through summer and fall, and I have enough spinach in my freezer to make it again...and again!
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Mealtime conversation starters - small talk
Being able to communicate is a very important life skill. But what about admitting to a mistake? Have a conversation with the people around you about being wrong.
Question: When was the last time you were wrong about something and did you own up to being wrong?
White Bean Soup with Spinach & Potato
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- 3.5 cups navy beans cooked, (1 cup cooked from dry)
- 1½ tbsp grapeseed oil
- ½ cup yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic crushed or minced
- 3 large carrots chopped into ½ inch chunks
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 2 lbs russet potatoes chopped into ½ inch chunks
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped fine
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 5 oz baby spinach (1 142g bag or 2 spinach bunches)
- 1 cup 2% milk (any plant milk is also fine)
- 1 tsp salt optional
- ½ tsp black pepper freshly ground
- Put the oil in the instant pot and press the Saute button. When the oil is heated, add the onion and allow to cook until it becomes slightly translucent, about 5 mintues
- Stir in the garlic, carrots, celery, and parsley, and saute for another minute or two.
- Deglaze the pot with a bit of broth, then add the potatoes and the rest of the broth. Put lid to sealing and cook on Manual (high) for 5 min.
- Quick release. Mix in the spinach, milk and beans. Put the lid back on and let sit for a couple of minutes so everything heats through.
- Taste and add the salt and pepper to taste if needed.
Hand Size Portions
When you look at the nutritional values of a meal to log what you are eating, that is called tracking macros. A lot of people use this method to reach their health goals.
Looking at hand portion size and using this method to gauge how and what you eat is also a great method to help you reach your health goals. Many people who use this method often think this form of tracking meals is easier and more sustainable for a lifetime.
Want to learn more about hand portion size and how to use it to reach your goals? Check out the article How to Get Started with Hand Portion Sizes.
Health Ninja Jeanette Marcotte is a health coach and professional geologist, who is obsessed with helping fellow professional women reclaim their time and energy by weaving healthy choices into their daily lives.
When she is not coaching or looking at rocks, you can find her hanging out in her garden with her dog, collecting new hobbies, and/or reading far too many books at once.
Find other articles written by Jeanette on her coach profile. Hang around for mindset strategies and micro-habits that will transform your health & confidence so that you feel like a Health Ninja, too!