Sunday, February 08, 2009

Soup - Looks the Same..but What a Difference!

I’ve made a vegetable soup, usually spinach, but sometimes broccoli or chard, for years, thickening it with mashed potatoes.

This time I wanted to make it using roasted potatoes and onions, instead of sautéed onions and mashed potatoes that had been boiled. I used the floury kind of potatoes even though I usually use waxy red potatoes in this soup. They really respond well to roasting.

To up the ante on a different taste, I decided to add a little balsamic vinegar to the vegetables to be roasted. I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but was game to try it.

Once the soup was finished it looked much the same as the old Spinach and Potato Soup…a rich green, with flecks of potatoes and onions visible. I always leave the skin on, so this is never a smooth puree soup. Once I tasted it I was ecstatic. The roasting and balsamic really brought the potato flavor to the forefront.

Before the spinach was the star. Now the potato was king. The roasting also made this an earthy tasting pottage. The onions are a back note and you don’t really taste the balsamic vinegar as such.

This is the perfect hearty soup for a cold day or evening. We might eat ours by the woodstove tonight, listening to the rain blowing against the windows, chasing the last drops of soup with a chunk of freshly baked cheddar ale bread (which I will post about in the next day or two).

Hearty Potato and Spinach Soup
Serves 2-4

2 large or 2 medium Idaho type potatoes (the floury kind), cut into 1 inch dice
1 medium onion, cut into wedges, about 10 or 12
3- 4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 large colander washed fresh baby spinach leaves (about 8 cups), steamed and chopped or
1 -10 oz. package frozen, chopped spinach, defrosted
2 cans low sodium chicken broth

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a gallon zip lock bag or other large disposable bag, place the potatoes and the onion wedges. Add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Close bag and shake to completely coat the veggies with the oil and vinegar. Turn out onto a foil lined large baking sheet. Spread so that they are in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are browning. Don’t burn the onions. Remove pan from oven. Cool veggies slightly and remove the onion s to a chopping board. Chop the roasted onions to roughly ¼ inch dice.
When cool, turn the potatoes into a saucepan and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add the can of low sodium chicken broth, the onions, and the chopped spinach. Stir to combine. Put into a food processor or blender and blend until soupy, but still a little rough in texture. (May take two batches if doing in a blender.) Return to saucepan, add the nutmeg and warm over low heat until heated through, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking.

Serve hot, garnished with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of cayenne.

This soup is perfect for the event No Croutons Required, hosted this month by Holler at Tinned Tomatoes. The theme is using potatoes. Toward the end of February be sure to check out all the entries.


  1. Now that seems so incredible! Gorn doesn't want me to change a good recipe but I'm always playing. This is proof that it pays off. Roasting is just such a grand thing to do with veggies, any veggies.
    Beautiful job.

  2. This sounds delicious! I wonder if the balsamic isn't acting a bit like vanilla: making everything just a wee bit more tasty, while not showing up as its own flavor, you know? Either way, sounds delicious!

  3. It's snowing outside right now, so a big bowl of this would be perfect right now!

  4. Would have loved a bowl of that as the snow came down today. Looks inviting and warm.

  5. What a great way of using up leftover roasties. I'm going to try this next time we have a sunday dinner. Great idea, looks delicious.

  6. Tanna, Playing around with recipes is half the fun of cooking...eating them is almost the other half.

    Davimack, think you are right about the balsamic.

    Deborah, yep, this is hearty and just right for cold weather.

    Peabody, y'all have to stop with the snow. Ruining Seattle area image.

    Katie, These were made-on-purpose, but I'll bet leftovers would be even better in the soup.

  7. I love the sound of that. I made a soup with roast veg (potatoes, carrots, courgettes, garlic & rosemary) this evening and it was stunning :)

  8. Oh! Roasted vegetables make this soup absolutely irresistable. Love it! And the color is absolutely stunning.