Savory cream of spinach soup [Vegetarian]

Jaymi's Notes:
As the summer turns into fall, this classic soup is a comforting way to stay warm on a chilly day. The soup features the bright color and flavor of spinach, with potatoes adding a thicker consistency. A splash of cream or half and half brings a mildly buttery flavor to bring it all together. Deeeeeelicious!

If fresh spinach isn't available, frozen spinach will work just fine. I used half and half instead of cream, just to keep it a little lighter without giving up that creamy flavor. And, for a vegan version of this soup, simply omit the cream altogether. The entire soup takes only about 20-25 minutes to make.

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Kelly's Recipe:

As the farmers' markets begin to fill up with squash and other fall vegetables, I am happy to stay with a more summery vegetable with this spinach soup. I really wanted a soup that had a strong spinach flavour, so I kept the ingredients simple and few. I used just one potato to give the soup a bit more body without adding too much potato taste, but if you want a thicker soup you could add two or even three.

If you have another warm day or two in the offing, this soup is really good cold as well as hot. I made a mistake by grating a bit of Parmesan cheese into the finished soup. I should have made larger croutons and added a spoonful of ricotta cheese on top. I'll just have to come up with another use for that with one of my fall vegetables, I guess. Maybe a baked pasta. I added a little bit of cream to this soup, but if you want a vegan soup, just leave that and the Parmesan cheese out.

Spinach Soup

5 cups vegetable stock
1 - 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces
1/2 - 3/4 lb spinach, carefully cleaned
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup cream or half and half (omit for vegan version)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large pot, heat the vegetable stock until just boiling. Add potatoes and cook until almost tender, about 10 minutes.

2. Add spinach, and cook until spinach is wilted and potatoes are cooked through. Using an immersion blender, or a blender, puree the soup until it is smooth.

3. Add lemon juice, and cream (if using) and taste for salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with croutons and Parmesan cheese, if using.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Tags: Cooking | Fruits & Vegetables | Recipes | The Cooking Project | Vegetarian | Weekday Vegetarian