Garlic and Spinach Soup

1-½ quarts chicken stock, turkey stock, vegetable stock, or water.   (I used chicken stock.)
A bouquet garni made with a bay leaf and a couple of sprigs each thyme and parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 to 3 large garlic cloves (to taste), minced.   (I used 3 but would increase it to 4 or more next time.)
½ cup elbow macaroni.   (I used 1/4 cup quinoa.)
2 eggs
1 6-ounce bag baby spinach, or 12 ounces of bunch spinach, stemmed, washed, dried and coarsely chopped.  (Because I’m lazy, I didn’t stem or chop the spinach.)
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan (1 ounce).  (I used what I had in the house:  gouda.)

Adapted from the New York Times Cooking.

img_6734Place the stock or water in a large saucepan or soup pot with the bouquet garni. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bring to a simmer and add the garlic. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add the pasta and simmer 5 minutes, until cooked al dente. Remove the bouquet garni.  Note:  if you use quinoa, you’ll need to simmer it a bit longer, maybe 7 minutes.

Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in 1/3 cup of stock, making sure that stock is lukewarm, and then add the cheese.

Stir the spinach into the stock and simmer for 1 minute. Drizzle in the egg mixture, scraping all of it in with a rubber spatula. Turn off the heat and stir very slowly with the spatula, paddling it back and forth until the eggs have been blended in.  Adjust seasoning.

Whenever I shop at Costco, I purchase a big amount of some kind of vegetable and then look for a soup recipe. I also recently purchased a food scale, so this recipe gave me an excuse to use it. Friends had also given me a packet of bouquet garni:  another reason for selecting this soup.

By substituting quinoa, the carbos are reduced, the protein is increased.

This soup has a nice mouth feel, creamy but not too creamy (similar to miso soup) with a slight quinoa crunch.  Because the spinach wasn’t chopped, I ate the spinach with chopsticks, which was nice.

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