Spinach Soup with Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs

A homemade creamy spinach soup that's on the table in 30 minutes flat, a satisfying supper when topped with still-warm and easy-to-peel hard-cooked eggs. Perfect for bridging the seasons, this soup is a great choice for Lent and St. Patrick's Day in the spring and for Meatless Mondays year-round. The recipe works with either fresh or frozen spinach (fresh is my favorite) and with either a refined or rustic look (rustic is my usual choice), making it ever so versatile. Vegetarian. Low Carb. High Protein. And Decidedly Delicious. What're you waiting for?!
Spinach Soup with Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs ♥ KitchenParade.com, homemade spinach soup, on the table in 30 minutes with still-warm easy-to-peel hard-cooked eggs. Vegetarian. Low Carb. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly.

BEST RECIPES!

"There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground …"

~ Sara Teasdale, poet


March: The Muddy Messy Month

Here in the Midwest, March is that muddy messy month between winter and spring, when warm days flirt with our summer-drenched dreams, when spring snows dash our winter-weary hearts.

For a cook, there’s no planning ahead. So I take it day by day, choosing light salads when the afternoon’s been warm, a wintry stew when fickle winds chill our bones.

So "in between" recipes are much welcome and that’s how this spinach soup strikes me – and has for many, many springs – as a soup that bridges the seasons and even our lives.

Spinach Soup with Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs ♥ KitchenParade.com, homemade spinach soup, on the table in 30 minutes with still-warm easy-to-peel hard-cooked eggs. Vegetarian. Low Carb. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly.

How Is Soup a "Bridge"?

How, exactly, does a soup "bridge" our very lives? With versatility!

Let's start with the flexibility to use either fresh spinach or frozen spinach.

FROZEN SPINACH vs FRESH SPINACH Frozen spinach works beautifully in this soup although the soup’s color will be a little less green and the spinach flavor less pronounced. In addition, I've learned to pay attention to the brand because some frozen spinach packages are filled with heavy stems. Instead, look for brands with mostly spinach leaves, they're the source of that astringent bitterness we crave in Spinach Soup.

Fresh leafy spinach is my preference, however, because the soup turns out, well, "fresher". The downside to fresh spinach is that it takes time to carefully soak (some times, for extra dusty leaves) and wash the spinach, then more time to snap off the tough stems. In the stores where I shop, the leafy spinach I'm talking about either comes in bunches tied with a rubber band or loose, in big piles of curly spinach leaves.

WHAT ABOUT BABY SPINACH? And sorry, a bag of baby spinach doesn't work well. The leaves of baby spinach are so tender, they mush into the soup without adding much flavor. To my taste, anyway, it's best to save that tender baby spinach for raw spinach salads.

WATCH FOR OTHER FRESH SPINACH It's not the "bag" that's the issue though, it's the "baby" spinach itself. Awhile back, a local supermarket (for St. Louisans, that's Schnucks) began stocking one-pound bags of a heavier leaf spinach that's really wonderful. It's pre-washed (though I usually run it through or colander or under running water anyway) but still tender enough for salads yet still sturdy enough for cooking (just take the time to remove the stems). We go through a couple of bags a month!

Spinach Soup with Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs ♥ KitchenParade.com, homemade spinach soup, on the table in 30 minutes with still-warm easy-to-peel hard-cooked eggs. Vegetarian. Low Carb. High Protein. Weight Watchers Friendly.

More Flexibility.

Leave Spinach Soup in its rustic, natural form, this is my preference, mostly. Who else appreciates foods that visually announce their ingredients?

[photo above] But on the other hand, Spinach Soup is so dramatic when it's puréed into a bright green, concentrated spinach soup.

Isn't it pretty?!

When to Make Spinach Soup.

When to make a pot of lush-tasting Spinach Soup? Three ideas!

  • LENT The eggs symbolize birth and life, so the soup ‘n’ egg combination is a good choice for meatless Fridays during Lent. (More recipe ideas for Lent.)
  • ST PATRICK’S DAY Just for the fun of it, serve an all-green meal for St. Patrick’s Day festivities. (More recipe ideas for St. Patrick's Day, including a list of "green food"!)
  • MEATLESS MONDAY More and more, omnivore eaters who are both health-conscious and environmentally aware choose vegetarian or vegan meals just one or two days a week. (More vegetarian & vegan recipe ideas.)

Just In Time for Coloring Easter Eggs!


Farm-Raised Eggs ♥ KitchenParade.com

Who’s boiled eggs that refuse to peel? Chances are, the eggs were "too" fresh, that especially happens when you buy beautiful farm-raised eggs.

Who’s cooked eggs with yolks ringed in green? Chances are, the eggs were overcooked. Arrrrgh!

There are all kinds of tricks out there to avoid these common problems cooking hard-boiled eggs. But here's my simple trick: just mind the clock.

Yes, I really do set the timer for each step and time after time, I end up with perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs with golden-yellow yolks. Here's how I do it, Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs.



QUICK SUPPER: SPINACH SOUP with EGGS

A soup flushed with spring
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes 5 cups (assumes 10 ounces spinach) or 8 cups (assumes 16 ounces spinach)
    SOUP
    (note: the first ingredient amount is for soups made with ten ounces spinach, that's the typical box of frozen spinach; the second amount is scaled for 16 ounces spinach, that's the typical bag of frozen spinach; either amount works with fresh spinach)

  • 1 tablespoon (5 teaspoons) butter
  • 1 small (medium) onion, chopped fine
  • 10 ounces (16 ounces/454g) frozen or fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons (10 teaspoons) flour
  • 3 cups (4-3/4 cups) vegetable broth or chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3/4 teaspoon) ground nutmeg (or more to taste)
  • 1 cup (1-3/4 cup) whole milk (or part milk and part cream)
  • Salt & pepper to taste, be generous!

EGGS If cooking the hard-boiled eggs, start these first. They’ll be cooked and still warm by the time the soup is finished.

SOUP In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter on medium high until shimmery. Add the onion, stir to coat it with fat, let the onions cook just until beginning to soften.

FOR FROZEN SPINACH While the onion cooks, thaw the spinach in the microwave. Once thawed, add it to the onion mixture and cook for about 5 minutes.

FOR FRESH SPINACH While the onion cooks, wash the fresh spinach very well by soaking and swishing in cold water. It needn’t be trimmed but it must be grit-free; to test, eat a piece of the raw spinach. If going for a rustic appearance, cut the spinach leaves into ribbons or roughly chop. Stir the spinach into the onion mixture by the handful and let it cook until cooked but still bright green.

FOR A PURÉED SOUP (Skip this step for a rustic appearance.) Transfer the onion-spinach mixture to a blender and blend until smooth, adding some broth or stock if needed. Return the puréed mixture to the pot. (Don’t waste the spinach left in the blender, use the rest of the broth or stock to rinse it out into the pot when it's called for.)

Sprinkle the flour over the spinach mixture and stir it in. (Don't just dump the flour into the pot, you'll end up with floury lumps. Should this happen, use the back of a spoon or a whisk to work out the lumps before continuing).

Add the broth or stock, a tablespoon at a time at first, completely incorporating each addition before adding more. Stir in the nutmeg and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the milk and bring just to a boil but do not allow to boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

TO FINISH Spoon the hot soup into bowls. Place one or two egg halves in each bowl, resting gently atop the soup.

ALANNA’s TIPS If the soup is for supper, a little extra richness is appreciated. Either sauté the onion in 2 tablespoons butter or substitute cream for some of the milk. The eggs work especially well when they’re warm. If you don’t want to hard-cook eggs, poach an egg or two right in the hot Spinach Soup after it's cooked! Gorgeous!
NUTRITION INFORMATION
Soup Per Cup: 85 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 8g Carb; 2g Fiber; 348g Sodium; 10g Cholesterol; 4g Sugar; 4g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 2 & PointsPlus 2 & SmartPoints 3 & Freestyle 2

Soup + Egg Per Cup with a large egg: 157 Calories; 8g Tot Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 9g Carb; 2g Fiber; 429gr Sodium; 222g Cholesterol; 4g Sugar; 11g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS Old Points 3 & PointsPlus 4 & SmartPoints 4 & Freestyle 2
Adapted from The Best of Swedish Cooking (edited by Stina Algotson, the 1995 edition, mine is 1983) My Disclosure Promise



PERFECT HARD-COOKED EGGS

Every time, without green rings, without overcooking or undercooking.
Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time-to-table: 30 minutes
Makes 1 to many hard-cooked eggs
  • STEP ONE Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan, cover with water plus an inch more. If you like, add a drop or two of food coloring so that later, in the fridge, it's easy to distinguish the hard-cooked eggs.
  • STEP TWO Leave the pot uncovered and bring the water to a boil. Watch carefully, for once the water boils, boil the water for just one minute. Precision is important, set the timer!
  • STEP THREE Turn off the heat, now cover the pot and let the pot rest for exactly 10 minutes. Don't risk distraction, set the timer!
  • STEP FOUR Use a slotted spoon to lift the hot eggs into a large bowl of very cold ice water and let them rest there for five minutes – longer is fine too, the ice water stops the cooking process. No ice? Cold tap water works in a pinch, just be sure to keep the fresh cold water flowing over the eggs for the full five minutes.

The eggs will peel easily now, they're ready to eat. Or to save the hard-cooked eggs for later, leave them unpeeled and store in the fridge for a week or so. Or – more Easter fun – make some gorgeous Ruby Eggs!

NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Large Egg: Calories; g Tot Fat; g Sat Fat; mg Cholesterol; mg Sodium; g Carb; g Fiber; g Sugar; g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points & PointsPlus & SmartPoints & Freestyle

I've lost track of how I learned to hard-cook eggs this way, it's certainly not something I figured out on my own. Chances are, it was Cook's Illustrated.


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Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2009, 2012, 2014, 2017 (repub) & 2019

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

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