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Spinach & Mushroom Soup

I can’t believe I haven’t made Spinach & Mushroom Soup before! So delicious!

Still, while this is easy enough, it can’t be said to be quick. Picky vegetable prep is picky, and slow.  Any time you use fresh spinach that is inevitable. I have to say this is worth the effort though. If you wanted to use good frozen spinach it should work quite well although I always find commercially frozen spinach hasn’t been picked over carefully enough.

I poured the leftovers onto noodles, with a little grated cheese. Also really good, if not the neatest dish to eat.

6 servings
45 minutes prep time, not including the spinach
which will likely require 30 minutes all by itself

Spinach & Mushroom Soup

Prepare the Spinach:
2 litres (quarts) fresh spinach leaves, loosely packed

Wash and pick over the spinach, removing and discarding any large, tough stems and yellowing leaves.

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Drop in the spinach, one-quarter at a time, and blanch for 1 minute. Remove it to a basin of cold water and let cool. When it is all done, take it by handfuls and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

You should end up with about 300 grams (10 ounces) of cooked spinach.

Make the Soup:
6 medium shallots OR 1 bunch green onions
500 grams (1 pound) mixed mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon rubbed mint
1/2 teaspoon ground rosemary
6 tablespoons soft unbleached flour
1/4 cup unsalted butter
4 cups unsalted chicken or vegetable stock
2 cups whole or 2% milk
sour cream to serve, OPTIONAL

Peel and mince the shallots, or wash, trim, and chop the green onions.

Clean and slice the mushrooms. Ideally, use a mixture of types – button, shiitake, and oyster will be easiest to get. Don’t forget shiitake stems are too tough to eat, so leave them out. I used some dried puffball, which makes giving quantities a bit hard, but I would say you should have about 3 cups of prepared mushrooms over all.

Mix the salt, pepper, mint, rosemary, and flour in a small bowl.

Heat the butter in a heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, and cook for a few minutes, until starting to soften and reduce in volume. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until softened and slightly browned. If using green onions, start with the mushrooms and add the green onions when they have cooked for a few minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium. Sprinkle the seasoned flour over the mushrooms, etc, and mix it in well. Cook for another minute or two, then begin mixing in the stock a little at a time until it is all in and the mixture is smooth.

Shred the spinach very finely and mix it in. Let the soup simmer for 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently, until it thickens slightly. Stir in the milk and bring it back up to steaming hot. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Last year at this time I made Poached Chicken Breast in Fines Herbes Sauce.

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