All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Spinach and Sweet Potato soup with butter-braised spinach and cheese toasts

My two very favorite vegetables are spinach and sweet potatoes, so naturally it occurred to me yesterday that they might make a mighty fine soup for lunch.   And was I right !   It's a lovely, smooth soup, with lots of flavor and a hint of hot pepper and thyme.

I had been reading Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1, and came across Julia's recipe for  Canapes aux Epinards, which is braised spinach mixed with swiss cheese ( thinking goat cheese would be wonderful, too) and piled on buttered, toasted bread, so I made that as well.  A delicious spinach feast for a late lunch, sitting in the sun, watching the snow melt.

For the Spinach and Sweet Potato soup:

Serves 3 or 4.

4 cups packed, washed spinach, stems ok
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup slice white of leek
1/2 cup peeled, diced sweet potato (large dice)
heft pinch of thyme
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of hot pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon unsalted butter stirred in at the end

In large saucepan, place stock, sweet potato, and leek white.  Simmer until potatoes are tender.

Add the thyme, nutmeg, hot pepper flakes, salt, and pepper to the potatoes, then add the spinach.  Simmer a few minutes, take off the heat, stir, then cover and let sit for 5 minutes.  

Uncover the soup and, using an immersion blender, puree the soup, then add the butter.  Serve immediately with spinach and cheese toasts.

The spinach and cheese toasts:

There are two steps to making these  - first you cook and drain the spinach, then braise it in a little butter. then you saute the spinach with cheese and the toasts in butter ( or oil), then heap them , sprinkle more cheese on, and run them under a broiler.  I used a toaster oven since I only made 8 little toasts.

2 cups fresh, washed spinach, firmly packed, stems removed
a saucepan of boiling water

Place all the spinach in the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, then run cold water over the spinach to retain the color, and drain again.

When the spinach is cool, take handfuls of the spinach and squeeze all the moisture out.  It's amazing what you end up with - a handful of spinach!

Chop the spinach finely.

In skillet, melt 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, then add the spinach and stir until the spinach absorbs the butter.  Sprinkle with a pinch of nutmeg  and salt and take off heat, scraping into a bowl.

For the toasts:

3 slices or so of white bread ( I use Pepperidge Farm), trimmed of crusts if desired, and cut into quarters 
3 T. unsalted butter and/or olive oil

Toast the bread in the butter or oil in a skillet, on both sides, removing when golden.


Place the spinach back in the skillet with a little oil or butter.
Grate about 1/4 cup Swiss cheese ( or use another cheese).
Sprinkle a tablespoon or so on the spinach and stir.
Place a spoonful of spinach on each toast, topping with a pinch of cheese.
Place under broiler just before serving just until cheese melts.

The toasts also make wonderful appetizers for a party - enjoy!


Anonymous said...

OH, I would love this! I have a huge butternut squash sitting here so I might use that instead of sweet potato. This is a lovely lunch, Kat.

Farmgirl Susan said...

Yum. Sounds like a perfectly delicious lunch! xoxo

katrina said...

Ooooo, Donna - butternut is my third fave, so let me know how it works out! Merci a bunch:)

katrina said...

Thank you so much, fig (aka farmgirl)! Thinking it's just your style , with all your beautiful veggies!

Barb said...

Oh this does look like a yummy combination -and the toasts seem like the perfect accompaniment. You always have the best ideas!

And thank you for the reminder to read Julia's book. I have it and look at it periodically, but I've never really read it. Great idea!

Susan Lindquist said...

Well! Your soup and little toasts look just delish on this sunny afternoon! Have just discovered your blog through Monadnock Table. It's nice to know there are other foodbloggers right in the neighborhood! I'm based in Fitzwilliam and always wondered if there were others right in the immediate area. The closest cyberpals are from Boston, Merrimack and over toward Old Orchard Beach.

katrina said...

Ah, Barb - those two volumes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking are the BEST for bedtime reading. It's too late to cook anything, and you notice recipes you might never have looked at. So glad you enjoyed the spinach feast!

katrina said...

Great to meet you, Susan! Love your blog!

Anonymous said...

thanks for share..

katrina said...

Thanks for taking a look, Anon!