Cream of Spinach Soup

Does anybody else feel like they’re being tossed around in a storm at sea when they read information on the Internet about what to eat and what not to eat? I read a great satirical post a few weeks ago about that phenomenon – check it out here if you’ve ever been like, “I eat pretty healthy” and then discovered that everything you supposedly thought was healthy is actually eventually going to kill you. Or if you have friends who are telling you that.

So anyway, I thought of that post when I read this post the other day questioning the healthy-quotient of the super-popular green smoothies. I will admit to sneaking spinach into some of my son’s food – smoothies (he thinks it’s super cool to get to have milkshakes for breakfast sometimes!) and even into his pancakes when I’m mixing them up in the blender. But the mention that the French have it right when they pair veggies with dairy fat (butter! heavy cream!) made me think about having some creamy spinach soup for lunch.

Mark Bittman is always a pretty safe bet when it comes to recipes, so when I came up with this recipe when I googled “Cream of Spinach Soup,” I knew this was the one to try. Plus, I liked the  simplicity of the recipe, the fact that it used fresh spinach and all “whole” ingredients. I altered the recipe a bit, mostly to fit the ingredients that I had on hand, and the fact that I was hoping to make just enough for myself and the hubby to have for lunch.

Cream of Spinach Soup
based on Mark Bittman’s recipe

1/2 lb (or so) fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1/8 yellow onion, chopped
1 T butter (and maybe some bacon fat if you’re like me and happen to keep a little ceramic tub of it next to the stove)
2 c chicken stock
1/2 c half-and-half
1 to 3 t. flour (I used around 2 t. brown rice flour)
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg (to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium-sized pot, saute the onion in butter. Add chicken stock, spinach and nutmeg and cook until spinach is wilted. Puree with an immersion blender (be careful – it will splatter since there’s not much in the pot) or in a regular blender (being careful because hot liquids will splatter in a blender). Return to the pot. Whisk together the flour (adjust flour amounts depending on how thick you want the soup) and half-and-half; add to the soup and heat through. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

We ate this with some smoked gouda and crackers, making for a light, wholesome lunch.

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