If you are using frozen spinach, completely defrost, then squeeze the spinach over the sink with your hands to remove excess water. If you are using fresh spinach and it is not prewashed, rinse the leaves thoroughly in cold water to remove all traces of dirt (you may want to rinse 2 or 3 times). Dry well in a salad spinner or use paper towels to squeeze out excess water. Coarsely chop the spinach, discarding the stems. Set aside.
Heat the oil in large soup pot over medium heat and cook the onions, stirring, until golden and soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until golden, about 1 more minute. (Be careful not to let it burn.)
Add the spinach to the pot, one handful at a time, and toss to coat with the onions and oil. When all of it has been added and mixed, cover and let steam over low heat until cooked down and wet in texture, about 10 minutes (defrosted spinach should take 5 to 7 minutes).
Add the water, rice, and salt. Add the mint by crushing it between your palms. Mix well. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the flavors meld, 20 to 25 minutes.
When ready to serve, ladle the soup into individual bowls, placing several spoonfuls of yogurt on top for each person to stir in. Can be served hot or cold.
Serves: 2 to 4
Reprinted with permission from ©Jennifer Felicia Abadi, A Fistful of Lentils, published by Harvard Common Press click for book review