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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Tuesday
May042010

May SOS Kitchen Challenge Reveal: Spinach! And a recipe for Creamy Spinach & Celeriac Soup.

Now that May has arrived, it's time for the second SOS Kitchen Challenge from Ricki at Diet, Dessert, and Dogs and me!  Thanks, again, to everyone who participated last time.  You helped to make the inaugural event a huge success!

This month, Ricki and I decided to go with another versatile vegetable that can be used in a host of different ways.  Are you ready to exercise your kitchen creativity and cook up some Sweet or Savory dishes that contain. . .

SPINACH!?

Young spinach growing in my very own garden!

Popeye's favorite green leafy vegetable is our star for the month. Not only is spinach nutritious, it is also a lovely shade of green! Why do I like that?  It ties in nicely with my focus this month on Lyme disease (it's Lyme Awareness month) and my snazzy "lyme" green logo.  I also like spinach because spinach is not an artichoke.  After last week's Blogger Secret Ingredient event and four posts featuring artichokes, I'm a bit burned out on the subject!

Ricki, my SOS challenge collaborator, is hosting this month's challenge.  So, bop on over to her site to read up on all the great nutrition spinach has to offer and her great spinach recipe suggestions for inspiration!  Her kick off recipe looks absolutely delish. Last month's inaugural challenge with beets had a whopping 24 entries, and we'd love to see just as many, if not more, this time with spinach!   There are lots of great obvious savory choices, but how will you make spinach sweet?  Come on. You have until May 20 to bring it.  

To enter the challenge, simply create and post a recipe using spinach before the deadline of midnight CST, May  20, 2010 and send it to me at soskitchenchallengeATgmailDOTcom.  (For full details on what kinds of ingredients to use and how to enter the challenge, see this page).  I'll post the roundup (as will Ricki, on her blog) a week after that so you can take your time browsing through the amazing collection of recipes before the next challenge! 

As for me? Well darlings, I'm starting savory. 

Creamy Spinach & Celeriac Soup

My dreams of spinach chocolate brownies and spinach tarts and eggless spinach quiche (!!!) and rich, creamy spinach dip are being put on the back burner.  Why?  Because my digestive system is in crisis mode, I'm having a Candida flare up, and my joint pain is back in full force.  I've been kind of a mess the last week.  I gave in to making blueberry coffee cake for a brunch on Sunday, and that was the final straw. Not good. I need to keep it simple or I might just die.  Okay, okay, that's a little (a lot) dramatic, and thankfully, I'm at no risk of losing my life over this bout of symptoms. But I am uncomfortable, and put simply, this is not the time for experimenting.  Argh.  I hate being so darn fragile.

And while I detest IBS, Lyme, and Candida, I positively adore spinach.  And I positively adore soup even more.  Soup is my standby meal decision when my digestion is being touchy.  No frills, nothing crazy, just a delicious, creamy, easy-to-digest, simple food.  This soup is perfect for spring, a lovely mix of spinach, celeriac, celery, and herbs. It is good warm and it is also good chilled, and would be wonderful served with my Pumpkinseed-Teff Bread! Better yet, it is about as mild and allergy-friendly as you can get.  Take that, troubled tummy!  This soup is good.  


Creamy Spinach & Celeriac Soup
yield: approx 7 cups soup 

2 cups packed baby spinach
1 large or 2 small celeriac bulb, diced
3 large celery stalks, chopped
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed and finely chopped
1/2 tsp dry thyme
4 cups broth/stock (or water + 2 Tbsp homemade vegetable bouillon) 
2 Tbsp olive oil 
1/2 tsp salt or Herbamare
1/8 tsp vitamin C crystals or 2 tsp lemon juice 
fresh chives for garnish 

Heat oil in a large stockpot, and saute garlic and shallots a few minutes until fragrant and soft. Add celery, celeriac cubes and thyme, saute a couple minutes, then add broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook about 10 minutes, until all vegetables are tender.  Add spinach and cook an additional 2-3 minutes until softened.  Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth, or blend with an immersion blender, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper and adding vitamin C crystals/lemon.  Transfer back into pot to reheat slightly if needed, or place in a large bowl and chill to serve cold.

Serve with minced fresh chives. Would be delicious with a swirl of nut or seed "cream" or "yogurt", or the real stuff if you can tolerate dairy.

Send your sweet or savory spinach recipes to soskitchenchallenge@gmail.com by midnight CST May 20, 2010!

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Reader Comments (11)

I am so sorry you are having a flare-up and not feeling good. I did my second and final gluten reintroduction last month (tests and first reintro were inconclusive though leaning towards gluten intolerance) and now it is super conclusive that I am gluten-intolerant, but the aftereffects of the reintroduction have not been pretty - the joint pain is finally subsiding but the digestive effects not so much. I so understand hating being fragile digestively :(

I do love that you picked spinach as it is one of my favorite things in the whole world. I may go simple though, but I am definitely joining all of you this month :)

This definitely looks like a great soup... so vibrant and green! Love it!

May 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy

Hello ! I am visiting your blog for the first time and first of all I hope you will feel better. It is very important to spread more information about the Lyme disease. Not even two years ago, I did tons of examinations, including lumbar puncture, in order to confirm or exclude the disease. Finally doctors did not find anything, but during this period of uncertainty I found out a lot about this disease, which is difficult to treat.
Your soup looks great; I like both spinach and celeriac, maybe I will cook it one day.
Have a nice day!

May 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMagdalena

So sorry to hear about the setback! I know how that feels. . . just hang in there and continue to enjoy yummy, healthy eats like this soup! Another winning recipe. :) Hope it does the trick and kicks those nasty bugs right out of your system! xo

May 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

Hi,

I tried the beet challenge, but was to embarrassed to send my results. It didn't look like a borscht soup but my beet soup was good.

http://blog.gfdiner.com/2010/04/23/most-recipes-bombed-this-week.aspx

I love artichokes, so this month I will try a couple of recipes and sent even if they BOMB.

I shouldn't be afraid

May 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGFDiner - Kathy

Oh no! Poo on not feeling well :-( I have to say though, its exciting to see that you're so in tune with your body that you know what it is exactly that gives you those feelings. I hope at some point I can reach that level of awareness with myself.

The soup = fabulous! And a really triumphant YAY for having spinach in your garden! I have a few treasures that I've planted in a friends garden (I don't have any access to 'land' myself) and so its fun to see what you have too!

~Aubree Cherie

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAubree Cherie

I am laughing a little at the choice. Tonight for dinner I made a spinach pizza with a rice and mushroom crust. I don't think I will use it though. The fun of the challenge is making something new like my beet quick bread, last month. That was such a discovery.

So, I will see if I can come up with something new. If not, you know what you might be getting.

Is there any problem with bottled soy sauce?

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChaya

So many great enthusiastic replies! I can't wait to see what you all make.

Chaya- bottled soy sauce is fine! go ahead and use it in your recipe.

OK... I'm going to do it. I'm going to make a spinach recipe and try out this challenge! I go through at least two 2 lb bags of spinach a week, thanks to my food coop. Love the stuff. And since you've inspired me to start making my own soups, I'm definitely giving this one a shot.

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim Trick

YAY! Go Kim! I'm so excited to see what you make. Maybe something with limes for Lyme Disease Awareness? ; )

Oooh, good call!! OK, I'm going to have to try some ideas out this weekend.

Also, I meant to tell you I've been using Pure Essence's Candex in combination with Garden of Life's Fungal Defense, Renew Life's ultimate 50 billion probiotics, and lots of naturally fermented kimchi and saurkraut... working wonders for me and I'm finally making some headway against candida after all these years.

I hope you feel better soon!

May 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim Trick
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo