Top this easy cream of spinach soup recipe with a few croutons and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese for a rich and yummy starter that will have even the most resistant vegetable eaters asking for more.
I like the convenience of frozen spinach for this recipe - it makes the soup something that whips up in a matter of a couple of minutes. However, you can use either fresh or frozen spinach - the weight measurement remains the same. Fresh spinach releases water as it is cooking in the soup, and frozen spinach (which has already been blanched) includes this water in the freezing process. The only thing that changes in the recipe is that the fresh spinach may need to cook just a few minutes longer.
Although it is just fine by itself, you may like to try different toppings on this cream of spinach soup. A few croutons, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, or a splash of vinegar or lemon juice are all welcome and interesting additions. In France, you might even find it topped with a poached egg.
Because it is so easy to make this soup, you can make your own croutons while it is cooking. Here's a page on how to make croutons.
(Recipe time is a little longer if you are using fresh spinach that needs to be cleaned.)
Makes 4 servings.
1 pound spinach (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons butter
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2/3 cup half and half
salt and pepper
optional toppings: croutons, Parmesan cheese, vinegar or lemon juice
If you are using frozen spinach, remember to defrost it several hours before you begin preparing the soup. If you are using fresh spinach, remove any tough stems or ribs and wash carefully.
Peel and chop the onion. Peel and dice the potatoes in 1/2 inch cubes.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft - about 6 minutes.
Add the diced potatoes and the chicken or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat so the soup is at a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are quite tender.
Add the spinach and cook 5 more minutes. Use a blender to puree the soup, then return the soup to the saucepan on medium heat. (When using the blender be sure to never fill it more than half way and have your hand firmly on the lid before you blend.)
Stir in the half and half and season to taste with salt and pepper.