If you have been fighting off the big, bad germs that have come your way, or if you simply want a delicious but healthy soup for tonight, make this creamy spinach soup. It has a hint of nutmeg and was started with a few nice cloves of sauteed garlic, so believe me, even though it’s easy peasy, it’s really tasty and has many layers of flavor. The ingredients list is so small it’s almost embarrassing…almost.
Sometimes, when you are sick in bed, all you want is a nice homemade cup of soup to warm your insides, soothe your throat and ultimately make you feel so much better. But if you are the cook at your household, like I am, then sometimes you are dreaming of the impossible.
The folks at my house have a long list of enviable strengths, but cooking is not one of them. Well, actually, my twelve-year-old daughter is fast becoming an amazing cook, but soups haven’t dropped onto her radar yet.
So my point is this; If you are able to drag your butt out of bed, then honestly you can make this soup. It takes five minutes of actual prep time, so even if you are weak and weary or if you have just walked in the door after a long, tiring commute, you still can make this and you won’t hate me for it. I promise, Girl Scout’s Honor and all.
First step is simple: In a stock pot, throw three cloves of chopped garlic in with your butter and flour and make a nice, flavorful garlic-y roux. Saute for just a couple of minutes so it doesn’t burn. If you have noticed from my photos, my foggy brain threw two cloves in with the spinach first and then I remembered so I sauteed the last one off. Tasted great later…so no worries.
The next step is easy if you have a food processor. I just throw the defrosted and drained bags of frozen chopped spinach in with 1/2 of a carton of chicken or vegetable broth and let the processor whir away into oblivion.
Having a food processor helps a ton, so if you don’t have one of those and you are truly on the brink of passing out from exhaustion, I might just get out the can opener if I were you and succumb to eating a bowl of store-bought soup. Although, pulling the tab off a carton of your favorite organic Trader Joe’s soup or health food store soup might be a much better bet.
Finally, dump your processed spinach and soup into the pot, add the rest of the carton of soup, dust in some nutmeg, white pepper and salt and let it simmer for 10 minutes or so. If you want it pureed, you can use an immersion blender or regular blender or simply eat it as is with a piece of toast. Now add the milk and other ingredients and stir.
If you are not sick and actually want to make this special, cut some small shapes out of puff pastry, bake and sprinkle on top. I also like to dot mine with a little Greek yogurt. Some Naan and hummus might be perfect with this as well. The accompaniment possibilities are endless. Enjoy your soup and get better fast…OK?
Creamy-ish Spinach Soup adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
Yields about 6 bowls of soup.
This is a rather thin soup. If you prefer a thicker soup, add less chicken broth and less milk. I’d go with half of each amount and then add more as you want to thin it out.
3 cloves of garlic
2 T. butter or dairy free spread like Earth Balance if you want to make this dairy free.
2 T. Flour
Two 10 oz package defrosted and drained chopped spinach
3-4 c. low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth (one carton of Pacific or Trader Joe’s is my favorite)
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1-2 t. white or black pepper to your taste (or ground black if that is what you have)
1-2 t. sea salt to your taste
1 c. whole milk, half and half, or dairy substitute (you can put in less if you prefer)
2 tsp red wine vinegar
Optional: 1-2+ tsp of sriracha or 1+ tsp crush red pepper if you like a little heat.
Greek yogurt dollop
Triangle toast points or fancier…
Cut shapes from defrosted frozen puff pastry and bake at 350 for ten minutes. Use to sprinkle over the soup.
Fresh parsley, chopped and sprinkled over
To make the soup: First chop your garlic. Melt the butter in your stock pot on medium heat, add the garlic, stir. Garlic burns quickly, so turn down to medium low if your garlic is cooking too fast. Stir constantly. Add the flour and cook for three minutes stirring on medium to medium-low. Turn off the pot.
Put your defrosted chopped and DRAINED spinach (I squeeze my defrosted spinach in a colander with a few paper towels. It’s important to get out as much water as possible) and 2 cups of the broth (in two batches) into a food processor and process on high for a couple of seconds until pulverized. You will have to do this in two batches in the food processor since there is a lot of spinach. If you don’t have a food processor, use the blender. Add the spinach and broth mixture to your stock pot and scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to get all the good bits at the bottom. Saute on medium-medium high heat for a couple of minutes, stirring now and then, and then add the rest of the broth. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper to your taste and simmer for twenty minutes letting it cook down a bit.
Stir in vinegar and milk. If your soup is too thin, feel free to let it simmer on low for another 10-20 minutes to cook it down. Add sriracha or crushed red pepper if you would like a little heat.
If you would like a pureed soup, then use an immersion blender, or pour small batches of the soup into a blender and puree (making sure to remove the little cap at the top, then place a thick folded towel over the top, making sure to cover the opening well). Opening the cap ensures that your hot liquid won’t explode. Exploding is never a good thing and the towel ensures your face doesn’t get splattered with hot liquid. Burns are never welcome either. I’m all about safety.