Never one to miss the opportunity to suit a theme, I thought I’d go for a green recipe on this Friday before St. Patrick’s Day! This is a smooth spinach soup that tastes a lot more decadent than it is. Yes, there is butter in it, but there is no cream. The creamy texture is achieved by adding potatoes, low-fat milk and sour-cream. (I guess sour-cream is a kind of cream, but it’s not as rich and fat-laden as is whipping cream, which many cream soup recipes include.)
Yield: 8 servings but recipe may be halved. Leftovers freeze well.
4 bunches of fresh spinach leaves or 2 bags, with stalks removed
3 shallots, chopped
2 cooked potatoes, chopped (with peel is ok)
1/4 cup butter
5 cups broth, divided. (We used Knorr vegetable stock powder and water.)
1 cup milk (we used 1%)
1/2 cup sour cream. (5% fat works as well as full fat.)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Fresh lemon juice to taste. (we use the juice of 1/2 a lemon)
Garnish: chopped raw almonds (toasted in a dry frying pan) and/or croutons. (I like the almonds for the healthy protein hit!)
Rinse spinach thoroughly because this stuff can be quite sandy and you don't want grit in your soup! I filled the kitchen sink with plenty of cool water and rinsed the leaves in there, and then transferred it in portions to a colander and ran more cool water through it. Shake to remove excess moisture, but it doesn't matter if the spinach is a bit wet when you use it.
Heat a large pot and add butter, shallots and potatoes. Sauté until shallots are soft. Add 2 cups of the stock and bring to a boil. Transfer to another pot or bowl and blend until smooth (we used an immersion blender). Set aside.
Add remaining 3 cups of stock to your original pot and add spinach leaves. Simmer until well cooked, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and blend well (again, we used an immersion blender).
Add potato shallot mixture to spinach mixture and stir it all together well. The soup should be very smooth with no lumps.
Stir in milk and sour cream, and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper.
Return to stove and heat gently (don't boil it after you've added the dairy products)