For reasons I don’t quite understand, fresh washed, bagged baby spinach costs an arm and a leg in Berlin. I guess it hasn’t caught on in trendy circles yet. If only the hipsters with painted on jeans and hideous shaved haircuts had an inkling of the green deliciousness they’re missing.
Here’s a simple recipe for a yummy spinach-potato soup. The shortcut involves using frozen creamed spinach, which is all my discount grocery store (the U.N. refugee-camp-style Netto) had. Topped off with some homemade croutons or a drizzle of cream, it makes a nice lunch or starter.
-1 sm. onion, chopped
-2 lg. shallots, chopped
-1 1/2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cubed (approx. 4-5 med.)
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-2 bay leaves
-3 1/2-4 cups. vegetable/chicken broth
-3/4 c. milk
-16 oz. frozen creamed spinach
-dash of nutmeg
-1/4-1/2 tsp. ground coriander
-pinch hot pepper flake
-1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crumbled
-2 sprigs thyme, stemmed
-salt and pepper, to taste
-5 Tbsp. cream, optional
-1 Tbsp. butter
-olive oil, as needed
-2 Tbsp. sherry, optional
1. In a large soup pot, sweat onions and shallots in melted butter and olive oil. Add cubed potatoes and garlic and allow them to color and soften.
2. Add enough chicken or vegetable broth and milk to almost cover the potatoes. Reserve any leftover broth.
3. Bring to a simmer. Add the rosemary, thyme, ground coriander, nutmeg, hot pepper, bay leaves, and black pepper. Do not salt yet.
4. When potatoes are tender (soft enough to be pierced with a fork) add 3/4 of the frozen creamed spinach. Cover and allow to heat through.
5. Remove the bay leaves. Puree the soup (preferably with an immersion blender).
6. Add remaining creamed spinach. Let heat through. (This gives your soup a bit of texture).
7. Thin soup as desired with more broth. Taste for seasoning and add salt as needed. Add sherry, if using, just before serving. If you like, add a few tablespoons of cream to taste.
If you’re feeling especially hip, swirl more cream in each serving and top with a pinch of red pepper flakes.