Cream of Spinach Soup with Crispy Prosciutto
By Heidi Allison
This vibrant green soup is like creamed spinach in a bowl—on steroids… And, it’s easy to make— the perfect “go-to” for busy week-day meals. Traditional roux, made with butter and flour, and, a hefty ration of cream or whole milk (typically 3 cups), is changed-out for soaked raw cashews, which adds a smooth, creamy texture and richness to the finished dish. Only the smallest amount of cream is needed to round out its taste—1 tablespoon—added at the end of the cooking process.
Highly alkaline, spinach is packed with antioxidants, vitamins C and K and beta-carotene. It is also a good source of vegetarian iron. This soup is an easy way to get your greens. While this recipe calls for good quality chicken stock, chicken stock concentrate and prosciutto, these items can easily be changed out for concentrated vegetable stock and silken, cubed tofu for a vegetarian meal.
Topped with a sprinkling of crispy prosciutto, this makes an elegant and “crave-able” meal, paired with a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich.
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 leeks, slice thinly; white part only
16 oz. organic baby spinach
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in 4 cups of water for 8 hours, then rinsed and drained
4 cups chicken stock
¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
1 Tbs. chicken stock paste
¼ tsp. white pepper
1 Tbs. cream
4 slices Italian prosciutto
Place butter in sauté pan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring, until soft and caramelized—about 10 minutes.
Pour stock and stock concentrate into a medium pot and heat to a simmer.
Add spinach,1 handful at a time, stirring after each addition, until spinach is wilted. Add nutmeg and soaked cashews, then set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
Place prosciutto in a foil-lined baking sheet. preheat a toaster oven to 425 degrees and cook until crisp—about 7 minutes. Remove form heat and allow to cool.
Add soup, working in 2 batches, to a blender or Vita Mix and purée until smooth.
Ladle into soup bowls and top with crumbled prosciutto and serve.