The Spinach Renegade Hybrid that I planted this fall has done beautifully. Like I said earlier, it froze many times during this unusually cold winter but always thaws without sacrificing flavor or quality. It's probably the best performing spinach I've ever planted. But I'm almost out of it :-( I think I have enough left for one more meal after this soup.
Last night I picked about six beautiful heads and made one of my favorite soups. I even used all the homemade turkey stock (from my Thanksgiving turkey carcass) in my freezer. This recipe makes a bunch and it freezes beautifully. Please try this one. It's easy, healthy and so very good!
Brown Rice, Lentil and Spinach Soup
1/2 lb hot turkey Italian sausage, casings removed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 finely chopped carrots
2 finely chopped ribs of celery
1 medium finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon smoked Hungarian paprika
1/2 - 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (depends how hot you like it)
12 cups chicken stock
1 cup rinsed, long-grain brown rice
3/4 cup rinsed brown lentils
1/2 pound fresh spinach, tough stems removed, thoroughly cleaned and coarsely chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in 5-quart Dutch oven (or soup pot) over medium heat; add sausage and cook, stirring and breaking it up unto small pieces until browned, about 6-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a plate.
Add carrots, onion and celery along with cumin seeds, thyme, paprika and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 10-15 minutes.
Add sausage, chicken broth, rice and lentils. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and cook, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until rice and lentils are soft, about 45 minutes.
Turn off heat, stir in spinach and cook until wilted, a couple of minutes.
Serve with freshly grated Asiago or Parmeggiano Regianno cheese.