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It's Easy Being Green

November 04, 1998|DONNA DEANE | Deane is director of The Times Test Kitchen

Homemade soups are neither as time-consuming nor as fattening as many people first assume. This soup is low-fat, and instead of taking hours to make, it can be put together in just over 30 minutes. Cumin and cilantro give the spinach soup a sharper, more interesting flavor than traditional creamed spinach soups. Pick up a baguette to go with the soup and you'll have a satisfying meal.

Buy cleaned fresh spinach leaves in your supermarket produce section to save time on cleaning the leaves and removing the stems.

Note that blending nonfat sour cream with flour prevents the cream from curdling when it's stirred into the hot soup.

Creamed Spinach Soup

Total Preparation Time: 38 minutes * Active Work Time: 18 minutes * Low-Fat * Easy

Nonstick cooking spray

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 (10-ounce) package cleaned spinach leaves

4 cups nonfat chicken broth

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup nonfat sour cream

1 teaspoon cumin

Chopped cilantro

Lemon peel strips

* Spray saucepan lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Add onion and saute over medium-low heat until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in spinach leaves and cook, stirring, until leaves are wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until leaves are tender, about 5 minutes.

* Puree soup with immersion blender or pour into blender and puree until smooth. Return soup to pot if removed to blender.

* Stir flour into sour cream until smooth. Stir cream mixture and cumin into soup. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer over low heat until soup is thickened and flavors are blended, about 5 minutes.

* Sprinkle chopped cilantro over top. Garnish with lemon peel.

4 servings. Each serving: 108 calories; 264 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 0 grams fat; 14 grams carbohydrates; 14 grams protein; 0.84 grams fiber.

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