This is it. The soup of (family) legend! How many times does a soup achieve that!
And I’d like to say it’s because it’s the tastiest soup ever. Alas, IMHO, it’s a nice fall or winter soup but I’m not entering it in the next great chef contest. On the other hand, my youngest daughter (aka, my “picky” daughter), says it’s the best, most comforting soup ever. And since she’s asked me to make a giant batch for her, I decided it was time to update my 2011 post!
Why I Don’t Blend this Soup
But back to the legend…. If you go browsing online, you will see that sometimes this soup (or similar) is pureed. It may be to make the soup thicker, or sometimes to achieve a smooth consistency. The reasons will vary.
And I honestly can’t remember why I decided to puree it, after successfully serving it to my kids many times before. But that day I threw caution to the wind, poured the soup into the blender, and cycled it on.
When my kids arrived for dinner, there was a universal, “Eeuuwww!” And my oldest quipped sarcastically, “You made cream of pond scum soup!”
So to this day, “cream of pond scum” is firmly entrenched in the family vernacular, right next to “grab a mouse first thing in the morning” (another classic).
Not Julia Child’s Cream of Spinach Soup
Julia Child’s cream of spinach soup is probably the classic recipe for this. She uses onions instead of leeks, thickens with egg yolk in addition to flour and adds no potatoes.
And as I explored the recipe more, I had to wonder if mine is a composite of this with the (also classic) potato leek soup. Of course, I do love that this gives diners two vegetables–add a veggie–even if I can’t take credit for it.
And Julia didn’t puree it either, I might add.
The recipe is French, however. My mother researched it for an international food celebration at my high school, where I studied French. And ever since, it’s been a keeper over two generations, though we called in Spinach Potato Leek soup back in the day!
Step by Step Directions
The soup comes together easily. You saute the celery and leeks.
Stir in the flour and add the broth to thicken.
Add potatoes and cook until tender.
Add spinach and cook until wilted.
When and How to Serve
As I mentioned, my daughter loves Cream of Spinach Soup as a comfort food–it was one of her favorite “just got the braces tightened” meals. She’d eat it for breakfast then which was fine with me since she wasn’t able to eat her usual carrot sticks at lunch!
Of course, for everyday eating, this is delicious served in the classic combinations of soup and (half) sandwich or soup and salad. Or it’s fine just on its own as a light lunch. In that case a loaf of crusty bread or a basket of muffins is a wonderful accompaniment.
This soup would also make an excellent first course since it’s light enough not to dampen the appetite excessively.
I love using thin slices of mini-peppers as a garnish on this, especially since parsley would disappear! And if you have them, a nice scattering of croutons would add texture and be visually appealing!
Tips and FAQs
Cream of spinach is a lovely soup any time of the year. But it’s especially nice in fall and winter. And happily, both leeks and potatoes are long lasting so you may be able to make this with local ingredients even in January!
Spinach is regularly on the EWG Dirty Dozen list of most contaminated fruits and vegetables, so buy organic if you can. Either fresh or frozen will work.
And since it’s comfort food season, take a look at more recipes from some of my blogging friends!
Comfort Food Recipes
- Butterscotch Tapioca Pudding from That Recipe
- Cajun Red Beans and Rice Skillet from Blogghetti
- Cream of Spinach Soup from Art of Natural Living
- Fried Chicken Hot Shot (Manhattan) from Palatable Pastime
- Gluten-Free, Vegan Cilantro Cream Quinoa Spaghetti from Magical Ingredients
- Make Ahead Beef Stew from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Meatball Lasagna from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Sausage Tortellini Soup from Fresh April Flours
- Taco Soup from Devour Dinner
- ¼ c butter or oil
- 2 large leeks, white and light green only, chopped fine
- 2 celery stalks w/leaves, cut fine
- ¼ c flour
- 4 c chicken broth (or vegetable)
- 2 c cubed potato
- ½ c cream or milk (non-dairy for vegan option)
- About 4 cups of spinach, ripped into smaller pieces
Sautee leeks and celery in butter or oil until softened. Stir in flour and cook for a few minutes.
Add the broth and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened. Add the potatoes and continue cooking.
When potatoes are tender, stir in the spinach and cook just until wilted.
Add cream or milk, bring back to temperature if needed and serve immediately. Refrigerate any leftovers.
- Cranberry Apple Crisp
- Homemade Sponge Candy