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March 8, 2011

Living in the CSA: Spinach soup recipe


Baltimore Sun's food editor and Reality TV blogger Sarah Kickler Kelber has recently embarked on a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) journey. (Read the introduction here.) Every Wednesday or Thursday, SKK will be posting about her latest CSA haul and you'll be able to give her some tips and guidance. From time to time, we'll invite a local chef to create a CSA-inspired recipe, too. And, every day, around lunchtime, look for the results of SKK's CSA experiments. -- RLG


I got started on my CSA cooking adventures this weekend, and while it was fun, it also felt at times like a part-time job. I got into this frenzy about cooking things up before they went bad. But it was a productive frenzy. I made two batches of spinach soup (recipe follows after the jump), some apple muffins, a butternut squash and quinoa casserole, and a BLT frittata. Whew. We've still got plenty to work with, and I think a curried carrot soup and a grapefruit vinaigrette are on the agenda.

I'll be sharing roughly a recipe a day, right around lunch time -- and of course asking for suggestions when we get this week's haul.

Recipe: Spinach Soup with Rosemary

Adapted from Eating Well

1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups diced peeled potatoes (I used yellow)
4 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water
6 cups fresh spinach or chard leaves, tough stems removed

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Pour in broth (or water). Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in spinach (or chard) and continue to simmer until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes more. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or regular blender (in batches), leaving it a little chunky if desired. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)

The original recipe includes Rosemary Croutons, but I never got around to making those, and I devoured this soup nonetheless. I suspect that they must have used water and not broth to end up with such a vibrant green soup. As you can see, mine was not nearly as pretty. I actually made two batches of this -- one with vegetable broth and white onion and one with chicken broth and red onion. I much preferred the former. The flavor of the spinach and the creaminess of the potatoes came through much more for some reason. Also, the second batch, I wasn't paying close enough attention (because I thought I knew what I was doing since I'd already made it once), and I didn't turn the heat back up when it was time to simmer the potatoes, and I didn't realize it until I checked them after 15 minutes and they still weren't soft.

I'm sure I'll be making my own stock soon, but I used the unsalted vegetable and chicken broths from Kitchen Basics. I had to salt the soup a little bit more than the recipe called for, but I'm sure it was still lower sodium than using salty broth in the first place. Also, I didn't try this yet, but I imagine you could use olive oil instead of butter easily, too.

(Photo by me)
Posted by Sarah Kickler Kelber at 11:49 AM | | Comments (5)


What does spinach soup have to do with living in the Confederate States of America?

Rosemary's Baby Part II. Try to eat that Roman Polanski.

Hey, I never said it was pretty. If you didn't like this, you're going to LOVE the casserole photo coming later!

SKK, I think it looks healthy--but I'm not sure about that rosemary sprig.

I didn't eat that part. Less is apparently more in sad attempts at food styling. ;)

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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner blog.
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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