Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cooking Italy: Spinach Soup

I like spinach.

Sometimes. Usually not cooked as it has a chewiness that I'm not very fond of.

So, I tried to keep an open mind about this recipe.

It didn't start out well though when I burnt the onions sauteeing them and figured it shouldn't be too terribly bad in the recipe if I tweaked with it a little bit. Which worked out well even if it did take more tweaking then I had anticipated. I ended up adding another 1/2 stick of butter, garlic, and a lot of cheese before it covered up the bitterness of the burnt onions.

The crostini was another matter. I rushed it entirely, just pouring a huge dollop of olive oil in the pan and throwing in the crostini, skipping heating the pan altogether. Also i used brown bread which made it a lot harder to tell if they were toasting so half my crostini tasted okay...the other half tasted like I'd just chugged a bottle of olive oil.

Overall, the soup turned out fairly okay. I'm not a huge spinach person so I don't see making this one a lot but I think I would trot it out fairly frequently for my sister who would love it.

Spinach Soup
from Marcella Hazan "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking"
(2) 10 oz packages frozen whole leaf spinach, thawed
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
2 tbsp chopped onion
1 cup canned beef broth diluted by 1 cup water
2 cups milk
Whole Nutmeg
5 tbsp freshly grated parmiagiano-reggiano cheese
Home made Crostini

Squeeze moisture out of spinach when it has thawed and chop coarsely.

Put the butter and onion in a soup pot and turn on the heat to medium. Saute the onion until it becomes colored a pale gold. Add the thawed spinach and saute in the uncovered pot for 2-3 minutes, stirring to coat well.

Add broth, milk and a tiny grating (no more than 1/8 tsp) of nutmeg and bring to a simmer, stirring from time to time.

Add the grated parmesan, stirring it thoroughly into the soup, tasting and correcting for salt and turn off heat.

Ladle into individiual plates or bowls and serve crostini on the side.


  1. I have all the ingredients...and some organic spinach that is scheduled to expire better put it to good use. Do you think blending it before adding the milk would be a good idea ?

  2. I had wondered about that myself if I made it again...I might try that or blending it with the milk for a smoother soup. Either way it should taste pretty good.

  3. At first I thought those were meatballs in the soup. Which would probably be good too! I really like spinach, but it leaves this nasty film on your teeth afterwards. Maybe from the iron content? Anyway, the soup looks good!

  4. Palidor..hmmm, meatballs. It does sound yummy. Or maybe some diced bacon?