Our website has moved! Redirecting to RecipeStudio.com...
If this does not work, please click here.

Sour Spinach Soup

Monday, March 26, 2012

This spinach soup is a nostalgic effort to reproduce one of my favorite soups from the past times.
When we bought a house in the US, I was full of dreams and plans about my own organic garden. I tried to grow many things, from greens  to strawberries, and once even cantaloupe (that was relentlessly eaten by some beasts before we had a chance to enjoy it ourselves). Nothing grew well: too many bugs, too little sun, too many impudent squirrels. Then there was this unfortunate chipmunk that was strangled in a strawberry net - it was the last drop... I ended up growing  greens and sometimes tomatoes. But there is a a hope I cherish: grow my own sorrel that cannot be found in stores and farmers markets here in New England, if I am lucky enough to find good seeds. I grew sorrel in our dacha garden in Siberia back then. It required minimum effort and spread like a weed every year. We used sorrel to make fabulous seasonal shchi, we called it green shchi - it tasted sourish and very refreshing in the heat of summer. We also baked delicious sweet piroshki with it, believe it or not it tasted like strawberries! The idea to make "kinda green shchi" using spinach came suddenly one day, and this recipe was born.
What you need:
2 pints filtered water
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 small carrot, grated
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 small parsnip, finely sliced/julienned (optional)
1 cup of packed finely chopped/minced spinach
1 Tbsp butter
1 chicken broth cube or 1 tsp paste (for flavor)
Salt to taste
4 tsp lemon or lime juice
Garnish: chopped greens, hard boiled eggs, sour cream
Preparation time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Feeds 4 people

Pour water in a 2-3 quart pot, put on high heat and bring to boil. Add potatoes, simmer for 5 minutes, then add chicken broth cube and parsnip (if you choose to use it).
Saute carrots and onion with 1 Tbsp butter until slightly caramelized, add to soup. Taste for salt and add more if desired.
Chop spinach very finely, so it is almost minced. You could use food processor to speed up things, but then it will be too fine.
Chop spinach with a wide kitchen knife. 
When potatoes are completely ready, add spinach, stir, and remove from heat (don't boil!). Pour in lemon/lime juice, stir,  and let brew for 5 minutes before serving. This no-boil way of cooking spinach allows to retain its bright green color and some of the good things contained in fresh leaves.

Serve with greens, chopped hard-boiled eggs and sour cream in the middle of each bowl. Consider 1/2 egg per portion. Toasted bread is also a good thing to have on the table for this healthful sour spinach soup. Lovely!