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Spinach Garlic Soup

1/4 c. olive oil
6 lg. garlic cloves, sliced
1 med. onion, thinly sliced
2 med. celery stalks, chopped
1 med. carrot, grated (1/2 c.)
1 qt. chicken or vegetable broth (preferably homemade)
1 1/2 c. whole wheat bread crumbs (3 oz.)
3 c. finely chopped fresh spinach leaves (1 lg. bunch)
Salt & freshly ground pepper
chopped hard cooked egg or toasted sesame seeds (garnish)


Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until lightly browned. Stir in onion, celery and carrot and saute until slightly softened. Add broth and bread crumbs. Cover partially and bring to simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft, 20 minutes. Transfer mixture to processor or blender (in batches if necessary and puree until smooth. Return to saucepan; add spinach. Place over medium heat and simmer several minutes to blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls. garnish with egg or sesame seed; serve immediately.


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