Dinner Tonight: Strained Spinach Soup

I had just returned to Chicago from a weekend of depravity in Kentucky, full of bourbon and freshly made lemon pie (so, so good!). I needed to atone, hence this vegetable soup. The wife pulled home a bounty of vegetables, including a very large bag of spinach. Immediately reaching for Alice Waters' Chez Panisse Vegetables, I found this easy spinach soup.

The recipe has some peculiar steps, including cooling the soup as soon as it's cooked to retain the bright green color. It's also a strained soup, which removes all the vegetable hunks. I imagined a real elegant soup, but my results were much less than that.

When all the spinach gets strained, only glorified green water remains. When I put a dollop of sour cream in, it sunk straight to the bottom. The wife thought it might make a decent summer appetizer—a breezy light dish to start a meal. Perhaps that was the intention: as a main dish for a rainy day, it left much to be desired.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a freelance writer in Chicago. He is the co-founder of The Paupered Chef and spends most of his time playing with the new cooking gadgets he got from his wedding.

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Dinner Tonight: Strained Spinach Soup

About This Recipe

Yield:3 to 4


  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds spinach
  • 2 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • Salt and pepper


  1. 1

    Pour the oil into a large pot and turn the heat to medium. Add the onion and carrot and cook until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

  2. 2

    Pour in the chicken stock into the pot and bring to a simmer. Dump in the spinach and parsley and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. 3

    Meanwhile, fill a very large bowl with some ice. Set a smaller bowl on top that is still big enough to hold the liquid from the soup. When the soup is done, strain the soup through a metal strainer into the smaller bowl sitting on top of the ice. Cool the soup completely.

  4. 4

    When ready to serve, return the strained soup to a pot and bring to a simmer. Ladle into bowls, and sprinkle a little tarragon on top and dollop with sour cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


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