Spinach Soup

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    6 to 8

Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

This can be the best soup in the world if the spinach isn’t overcooked. Use as little stock as necessary to cook the leaves, puree the soup quickly, and then thin the soup, while still hot, to the desired consistency. This way the spinach will retain its bright green color. There are many variations of spinach soup, but first let’s get down to basics.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 russet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 to 3 cups Chicken Stock
  • 10 to 12 cups loosely packed trimmed spinach leaves (about 6 bunches), rinsed well and drained
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • About ¼ cup heavy cream if needed

Method

Melt the butter in a large, wide heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the potato and cups chicken stock. Heat to boiling, then reduce the heat and simmer until the potato is very soft.

Increase the heat to high. Start adding the spinach leaves by handfuls, pushing the leaves under the hot stock, until all of the spinach is submerged. Quickly heat to boiling, then remove from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer about half the solids to a blender and puree. Pour into a bowl and puree the remaining solids.

Thin the soup first with the hot stock in the pan, then with the remaining stock, also heated. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. If the spinach has an earthy or slightly bitter taste, add enough cream to smooth it. You may not need any cream at all if the spinach is young and sweet.

Variations

Add 2 cups fresh peas with the potatoes and a little more stock to cover. Add the spinach as directed, heat to boiling, and puree. Add a little cream, and egg yolks if you want, to smooth out the soup. Garnish with chopped fresh mint or grilled croutons.

For a Greek accent, stir 3 large egg yolks mixed with 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice into the soup just before serving. You may add 1 cup cooked rice or orzo as well.

Stir 1 cup yogurt, at room temperature, and several tablespoons chopped fresh dill into the soup for a Turkish variation. Garnish with toasted pine nuts or chopped walnuts if you want.

Stir in 2 eggs mixed with ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese just before serving.

Garnishes

  • Cooked polenta, cut into cubes, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Grilled croutons and freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • One-half cup heavy cream whipped to soft peaks and flavored with grated lemon zest or nutmeg