How to eat a peck of spinach
Costco has this overwhelmingly strange affect on me. I mean, I’m afraid to buy anything, because it seems like 20 deodorants is never a good idea, even if they only cost 5 bucks. I don’t know. I get a little overexcited and all my shopping skills go out the window. I’m actually a pretty good shopper. I plan meals strategically so that nothing goes to waste. Parsley for the pasta means we’ll have to make a fritatta, too. Which means buy eggs. Which means make pancakes and eggs–in which the parsley will also come in handy. You get the idea. It’s not that exciting, it’s just that I’m broke. Fine job, lousy pay. So this blog is about thriftiness, too, incidentally.
Anyways, Costco. It blows my mind. All the items that are usually off limits to me–cookbooks, cameras, cuisinarts–somehow feel completely obtainable at Costco. It actually crossed my mind to buy a $500 digital camera when I was there last, just because it was there. It seemed so easy and logical. That’s it, things seem logical there. You are certainly saving money, so ergo you are allowed to spend. Makes perfect sense.
I asked M. to take me to Costco for laundry detergent (don’t have my own card). I came home with a metric ton of baby spinach and brussels sprouts. And oatmeal and ravioli and these fried vegetable things that were really good as a free sample. So I decided to make spinach soup for dinner tonight, figuring it would be the most amount of spinach used per square inch.
I made a bechamel for it, which is one thing that really gets me weak in the knees. The result was buttery and bright (I blame the white wine), and really didn’t take that long to make. So here it is:
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and diced (I used a red delicious)
1 c. white wine
4 c. veggie broth
1/2 stick butter
6 T flour
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
10 c. spinach
Heat oil over medium heat and then saute onions, garlic, and apples until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add about a tsp of salt, pepper, and 1/2 tsp of nutmeg. You should freshly grate it. It really makes a difference.
Deglaze the pot with the wine and let simmer down for 3 minutes. Add the veggie broth and continue to simmer.
Meanwhile, melt the butter over low in a small saucepan. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Slowly pour in the milk and whisk until it’s saucy. It is easier to do this step if you heat the milk first, but I think if you’re quick with the whisk, you can get the lumps out without the preheating. Season with salt, pepper, and a bit of nutmeg. When it has a smooth consistency, whisk in the shredded cheese.
Mix the bechamel into the simmering stock until it creates a creamy texture. Add the spinach and let it wilt, about 5 minutes. Finish with an immersion blender and process until it’s smooth.
As for the brussels sprouts, I roasted them with salt and pepper and olive oil at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. SO wonderful.