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Cook: Creamy Spinach Soup with 3-Cheese Grilled Cheese

Before we get started….As of Sunday, Tyson the fat co-dependent cat and I are officially in Pittsburgh!  I got offered a job that required me to move pretty quickly, so here I am.  Thank you all for being so supportive; it’s been a whirlwind starting a new job and trying to work out the kinks involved in moving, but I couldn’t be more thrilled to be here.  However, as I write this and half-heartedly listen to the 11 o’clock news, I’m jarred every time I hear Pittsburgh instead of Boston.  It’s going to take some getting used to, but couldn’t be happier!  Here’s to new beginnings.  Now, on to that green thing up there.

The night I made this soup I invited K over with the pretense of “I’m making grilled cheese!” This was because of two things: First, if I had said I was making Spinach Soup I think the allure of grilled cheese would have been overshadowed, and Second, he’s read enough Two Recipes to assume that if I’m making a “healthy” soup it probably has beans in it.  And K’s not into beans.

So he came over because of melty cheese and crusty bread, and walked into a big pot of green.  He was dubious at best.  And no, he did not try it.

I’m telling you, though, that while I did make a stellar grilled cheese for us both, of which I’ll tell you about in a minute, the soup is what he really missed out on.  Yes, it’s very, very green.  I’ll tell you what I said to him though–don’t be afraid of the green, as bright and Play-Doh-y as it looks.  It gets its creaminess from potatoes without a single can of beans (although that would be delicious!), and the flavor is out of this world.  I mean it.

And, just in case it feels like you are involuntarily embarking on some sort of juice cleanse, it’s paired with a creamy, crispy, buttery, grilled cheese.  Everything in moderation.

Let’s talk about the soup.  It’s chock-full of spinach to be sure, but the flavor is mellow, bright, a little spicy, with just the slightest, but very pleasant, spinachy background.  The potatoes give this soup body and creaminess and make it surprisingly filling.
The grilled cheese is crispy cheesy perfection, but most grilled cheeses are.  In my opinion, this combination of cheeses is perfect, but, of course, you can make your grilled cheese however you make your grilled cheese.  I think there are few things more personal.  Just promise me this–get good bread.  This is dinner, it deserves that!
The combination is stellar, and if you dip the one into the other, well, you won’t be sorry.
Here’s the recipe!
Creamy Spinach Soup (adapted from Joy the Baker)
 
Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 medium-large red potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 heaping cups (or large handfuls) of spinach
  • Juice of one lemon
Method
  1. In a large pot add olive oil and heat over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute more.  Add potatoes and cover with chicken broth.  Season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 20-30 minutes.
  2. Add spinach and gently stir until spinach completely wilts.  Remove from heat and blend until smooth with an immersion blender, or with a traditional blender in batches.  Add lemon and stir.  Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.  Serve with grilled cheese!
Three-Cheese Grilled Cheese (makes 2 sandwiches)
 
Ingredients
  • 4 slices Italian bread
  • cooking spray, or 2 tablespoons butter, softened (for bread)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces goat cheese (chèvre)
  • Salt and pepper
Method
  1. Spray bread with cooking spray.  On two slices of bread, divide the mozzarella and cheddar evenly.  Dot the bread with the goat cheese, then season with salt and pepper.  Top with the remaining slices of bread.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat.  Add sandwich and cook until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes.  Flip the sandwich and cook until the other side is golden brown and the cheese inside is completely melted.  You can add a lid to the pan to ensure melting.  Serve with Creamy Spinach Soup!
Enjoy!

One thought on “Cook: Creamy Spinach Soup with 3-Cheese Grilled Cheese

  1. Pingback: List: 10 Soups to Get You to the Holidays | See Hatsie

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