The Pacific Northwest is a goldmine of places to hike and outdoor adventures. I feel like I could live here my whole life, and still not see all of the breathtaking wilderness the state of Washington has to offer. It is easily one of my top three favorite things about living in this state.
Another awesome thing about the western part of WA state is the year round relatively moderate climate, and that goes hand-in-hand with outdoor adventures. As long as you don’t mind hiking in the rain, there is no bad time of year for it! And if you do mind the rain, well then…you might want to consider relocating.
Today we ventured out to a place called Poo Poo Point. Yup – Poo Poo Point. Supposedly the name comes from an interpretation of what the train whistles sounded like back in the day when they would ride through the Tiger mountains. Poo Poo Point is considered a summit of West Tiger Mountain, and is a launching point for paragliders soaring over the city of Issaquah, WA. The trail is about 3.8 miles one way, and it is uphill the entire way. It’s relatively easy in the grand scheme of things, but it is quite the workout! After pushing my stamina and working my legs for 4 hours while the cold rain was coming down, nothing on this earth sounded better than a hot bowl of soup and a hot cup of tea. Even when I’m worn out and sore, the one thing that can keep me on my feet when I get home from a hike is making a pot of soup. Last week we ended our hike with Richa Hingle’s Lentil and Kidney Bean Chili . Today I whipped up this spinach and potato soup. I love pureed soups, and this one is half pureed. Whether you’re coming inside from shoveling snow, walking from the bus stop in the rain, playing in the muddy mountains, or just want something cozy and warm on a late winter evening, this quick and easy soup is sure to get some “mmm’s” and “aahhh’s” as it melts your chills away. Enjoy!
Spinach and Potato Soup
Serves about 8
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, pressed or crushed
- 8-10 cups water
- 7 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary, ground up to break into smaller pieces
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 9 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into eighths or bite sized pieces
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 can)
- 1 1/2 cups non dairy milk (I used homemade cashew milk)
- 3 cups frozen peas
- about 12 oz baby spinach
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium low heat. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onion, stir. Let them sweat for about 5 minutes. Add the celery and garlic, stir, and heat for about 1 minute.
2. Add the water. Start with 8 cups, and add more later to thin if necessary. Add all of the seasonings (Better Than Bouillon through thyme), turn the heat up to high, and stir somewhat vigorously for 30 seconds or so to incorporate the Better Than Bouillon. Add the potatoes and chickpeas. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes, until the potatoes can easily be pierced with a fork, but aren’t falling apart. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
3. Puree half of the soup. You can do this either by transferring about 4 cups of the soup to a blender, pureeing it, and then adding it back to the pot; or you can use a stick blender right in the pot and eyeball it. If after pureeing, the soup appears too thick for your liking, add more water.
4. Once half the soup is pureed, return the pot to the heat source and stir in the milk. Add the peas and spinach. Cook until the spinach is wilted and the peas are cooked through. You may crank up the heat to speed the process. This should only take two minutes or so.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I added more garlic salt!), ladle into bowls, make a cup of tea, curl up in front of the fire in your coziest sweatpants, and enjoy.