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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.