The farmers market had some really amazing vegetables on presentation this weekend and I was able to pick up some wonderful heads of broccoli, cauliflower, spinach and herbs.
Wanting a soup for dinner as the weather outside was looking like a rain was soon approaching, I decided on using the fresh spinach. My first thought was making my Cream of Broccoli, but opted to use fresh spinach instead.
THE best part about this recipe for Creamy Spinach Soup is that it contains absolutely no cream! The secret was in steaming some fresh cauliflower and blending that with the blanched spinach. In seconds the vegetable mixture was puréed and when incorporated with a simple roux and shallots this soup was on!
I quickly chopped up the shallot into small dice and got that in a stock pot to sauté with butter.
As that was cooking away I turned my attention to the spinach and rinsed it really good to remove any dirt and grit. Spinach is notorious for having lots of sand and nobody wants a gritty soup, right? I then placed it in a colander to drain and stirred my shallots.
I turned the heat off the shallots and added the flour to cook on low and create a nice, golden roux.
In the meantime I cut up the head of cauliflower and steamed it. After the cauliflower was steamed and fork tender I removed it and rinsed it under cold water to stop the cooking process and set it aside.
In the water used to steam the cauliflower I dropped the cleaned spinach in to quickly blanch for a minute or two and the bright green was amazing. I immediately took the spinach out of the hot water and shocked it in a ice cold water bath and drained. That keeps the bright green color and stops the spinach from cooking.
In a blender, or in my case the Vitamix, I placed the cauliflower, spinach and chicken stock. Whirling away to purée I tasted and seasoned it with kosher salt. I then poured this mixture into the shallot and roux mixture, stirred to incorporate and simmered for several minutes.
I added some white pepper to taste and served the Creamy Spinach Soup with a garnish of some chopped cauliflower I had set aside and a crumble of browned pancetta. I try to always keep either browned pancetta or bacon in a little container in my refrigerator for things like this, but sometimes I just end up nibbling them away!
Anyways, a good drizzle of some olive oil and this was perfect with some bread. Simple no? Enjoy!
- 1 bunch fresh spinach
- 1 head cauliflower
- 6 cups of chicken stock
- 4 tbsp flour
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1 large shallot
- 1 tsp ground thyme
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp white pepper
- good olive oil
- pancetta crumbles
- Chop the shallot into small dice and in a stock pot sauté with butter.
- Rinse the spinach really good to remove any dirt and grit.
- Add the flour to the butter and shallots and cook on low and create a nice, golden roux.
- Steam the cauliflower until fork tender, remove it heat and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and set it aside. Set aside a ½ cup and chop, saving for garnish.
- In the water used to steam the cauliflower blanch the cleaned spinach quickly for a minute or two. Immediately shock the spinach in a ice cold water bath and allow to drain.
- Purée the steamed cauliflower, spinach and chicken stock and pour this mixture into the shallot and roux mixture, stirred to incorporate and simmered for several minutes.
- Add some white pepper to taste and serve with a garnish of chopped cauliflower and a crumble of browned pancetta. Drizzle some olive oil and serve.