A little fresh goat cheese and a touch of butter are just enough to make this spinach soup silky, creamy and a little nutty – but not enough to overdo it. We use dark green spinach for this soup because of the lovely color it produces, though you could use red-veined spinach and have just as good a flavor in a more Army inspired khaki color.
This is soup is low in calories, carbohydrates and cholesterol, high in fiber and perfect to serve diners on a gluten-free diet.
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large yellow onions, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 cups water, divided
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh
- 1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons cream sherry or Marsala
- 4 cups vegetable broth, store-bought or homemade
- 24 cups gently packed spinach (about 1 1/4 pounds), any tough stems trimmed
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese (2 ounces), plus more for garnish
- 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
- Soup croutons for garnish
Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add 2 tablespoons water and thyme and cover. Cook, stirring frequently until the pan cools down, and then occasionally, always covering the pan again, until the onions are greatly reduced and have a deep caramel color, 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the remaining 2 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large soup pot or Dutch oven; add potato. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until very soft, 12 to 15 minutes.
When the onions are caramelized, stir sherry (or Marsala) into them; add them to the pot along with broth. Return to a simmer. Stir in spinach, cayenne and nutmeg; cover and cook, stirring once, until the spinach is tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat, stir in goat cheese, butter and 1 tablespoon lemon juice; allow the butter and cheese to melt. Puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender until perfectly smooth or in a regular blender in batches (return it to the pot). Taste and add more salt and/or lemon juice, if desired. Serve garnished with a large soup crouton and crumbled goat cheese, if desired.
To make 8 soup croutons: Slice one-fourth of a whole-grain baguette into 8 slices 1/2 inch thick. Melt 1 tablespoon butter; lightly brush on both sides of each slice. Place the slices on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 F until the edges are crisp and golden brown, 10 to 20 minutes, keeping an eye on them so they don’t burn.
EatingWell is a magazine and website devoted to healthy eating as a way of life. Online at www.eatingwell.com.