Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Recipe: Easy Spinach Soup Made with Fresh Spinach (and Rave Reviews)


This tasty, healthy, dairy-free, gluten-free, low fat soup is packed with fresh spinach and cooks up in about 40 minutes (recipe here).

Have you ever grown spinach? It's one of my favorite greens, and there's nothing that compares to freshly picked spinach from the garden. But over the past 20 years of gardening in Missouri I've had much better luck growing Swiss chard, lettuce, kale, and Asian greens, so I tend to focus more on them instead.

I was recently inspired, though, by Margaret Roach's spinach-growing Q&A with Tom Stearns, the founder of High Mowing Organic Seeds in Vermont, which was full of interesting information and helpful tips. (I love Margaret's wonderful website, A Way To Garden.)

More about growing spinach plus rave reviews for this recipe below. . .

For the past few years I've pretty much given up on spring spinach and have been sowing organic Winter Bloomsdale, an heirloom dating back to the 1800s, and Giant Winter Spinach from Fedco Seeds in early fall (and I was even able to overwinter a small patch last year, which was so welcome in early March!), though now I'm curious to try some of the other varieties Tom mentioned, like Abundant Bloomsdale, Escalade, and Verdil.

But even if I do become a better spinach grower, I would probably need to convert my entire kitchen garden over to spinach production to satisfy our spinach habit. So instead I supplement the few square feet I do (usually) manage to grow each year with organic baby spinach from the supermarket.

If you've ever grown and/or picked your own spinach, you know those one-pound organic tubs are a serious bargain, especially since spinach is always high on the Environmental Working Group's Most Contaminated Produce List(apples are #1).

This time of year I tend to trade my spinach salads for soup, even when we aren't still working our way through the last several pounds of autumn kale I harvested back in December (woohoo!).

What's so super about this Super Spinach Soup? It's super fast and easy to make, super delicious, and super good for you. It's rich and satisfying and yet contains no milk or cream. The secret to its thickness is a little uncooked rice tossed in.

It's the perfect thing for slurping up on this cozy rainy day, and I have a tub of fresh organic spinach and a container of homemade chicken stock waiting for me in the fridge. No spinach? You can also make it with Swiss chard instead.

Still not sure? Below is a sampling of rave reviews from Farmgirl Fare readers. Thanks so much to all of you who take the time to comment on my recipes. And thanks for pinning them on Pinterest!

—Great soup. My hubby, who does not like spinach soup, liked it, and our three-year-old, who has never eaten any soup I've made, had two servings!

—I just wanted to let you know that I made this soup and loved it!

—I tried this soup, substituting Swiss chard for the spinach, and the result was delicious! I think I've made a few converts to chard with it. Thanks for the recipe!

—You can also use Chard for this recipe with lovely results. I just chopped the stalk parts up and added it in with the onions (I am too cheap to throw out good food and have no chickens to feed them to!), and I did add a lot of roasted garlic as well—we liked the garlic in it.

—Susan, I just made this soup and now know why you scarfed down a few bowls! I've also posted a photo of it 'cuz I love it so much.

—Absolutely delicious! I added more brown rice after the pureed version to add more texture to it. Thank you!

Still hungry? You'll find over 120 more of my Less Fuss, More Flavor recipes in the Farmgirl Fare Recipe Index.

© FarmgirlFare.com, where cold winter days on the farm were made for snuggling up on the sofa with a hunk of homemade bread and a cozy bowl of soup (after all the cute critters outside have been fed and watered first of course).

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December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

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