My culinary life has had a bit of an upset recently. Mark Bittman, master of the minimalist cooking approach, has hung up his apron strings at the New York Times. His recipes were a source of many a weeknight dinner for me and his blog will be much missed. This doesn't mean that the Bittster is gone forever, however, he has resurfaced already with a brand new blog about...well...cooking. The point of the blog is still a bit beyond me, but as far as I can gather, he's now writing about simple hearty recipes that you can make easily. Which sounds...remarkably like his earlier blog, but never you mind. I feature here one of his newest creations (or rather recommendations). His entire entry on soup claims to show you the last four recipes you'll ever need for soup. I tend to disagree but regardless, his first item on the list, a spinach and yogurt soup is simply marvelous.
Well, marvelous if you put bacon in it. Which arguably makes everything better. The soup is ridiculously easy to make and wonderful for those late winter nights where there's still a bite in the air but you can tell spring is just beyond the horizon. When you add these croutons to it, well, here's to Bittman and here's to soup.
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
3 cups water
2 tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp achiote powder (or chili powder)
12 ounces spinach
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 1/2 cups greek yogurt
3 slices bacon, cooked and chopped into bite size pieces.
salt and pepper
Thyme croutons (see recipe below)
Put 1 chopped onion, garlic cloves, spices, 3 cups water, and salt and pepper in a pot over high heat.
Boil, cover, lower the heat and simmer until the onion is tender, about 10 minutes.
Add chopped spinach, tomatoes, oil, and parsley leaves; cook until the spinach is tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add Greek-style yogurt and purée. Stir in bacon pieces.
Garnish: A spoonful of Greek-style yogurt and chopped parsley and some thyme croutons
Tear up day-old bread into small bite size chunks. Douse with olive oil and a sprinkling of thyme. Put under grill/broiler under golden (c. 3-4 minutes).