Yogurt has been known as a promoter of longer lives and better health for millennia, and spinach, so rich in anti-cancer flavonoids and eye-loving lutein, makes a lovely partner with yogurt in this cool and creamy soup.
Scallions, garlic, and red onion, along with just a hint of zesty lemon, add their piquant flavors and immune-boosting power to this sensual dream of a soup, inspired by Mediterranean Greek cuisine. Perfect to serve outdoors on a warm May evening, as you soak up the scent of lilacs and watch the leaves unfurl.
1 1/2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 7-ounce containers of plain low-fat Greek yogurt
3/4 cup vegetable broth
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
5 ounces baby spinach, well-washed
1 1/2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1. Chop the white and pale green part of the scallions into 1/2-inch pieces. Julienne the remaining dark green parts.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine cucumbers, one container of the yogurt, broth, chopped scallion pieces, and salt and pepper to taste.
3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook about 1 minute, until golden but not browned. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Stir spinach mixture into yogurt mixture. Puree in a food processor until smooth, then transfer to a large serving bowl. Add remaining yogurt, onion, and lemon juice and stir well to combine.
5. Refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Serve garnished with julienned scallion.
By Cait Johnson, author of Witch In the Kitchen (Inner Traditions, 2001).