Creamy Spinach Soup With Dill and Paprika Almonds

Serves 4.

Note: This soup is easily customized for your dietary preferences. Use an unsweetened nondairy milk for a vegan soup, or go exotic with canned coconut milk. For the dairy lovers, use butter instead of olive oil to sauté the onions, and use whole milk, half and half, or even cream for the milk. From Robin Asbell.

For soup:

• 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 large onion, chopped

• 1 medium Yukon Gold potato, 1 1/2 c. cubed

• 1 c. vegetable stock

• 1 bay leaf

• 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest

• 1/2 tsp.salt

• 8 oz. fresh spinach (about 8 c. leaves)

• About 1 c. milk

• 2 tbsp. fresh dill, plus sprigs for garnish

For Paprika Almond Garnish:

• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 1/4 c. sliced almonds

• 1/2 tsp.paprika

• Pinch salt


To prepare soup: In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the onion over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.

When soft and golden, add the potato, vegetable stock, bay leaf, lemon zest and salt, and raise the heat to bring to a boil. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. Uncover and pierce a piece of potato with a paring knife to test it; it should be very soft. Remove the bay leaf.

Stir the spinach leaves into the hot potato mixture, just until the spinach wilts slightly, then transfer to a food processor or blender. In a food processor, purée the mixture until completely smooth before adding the milk. In a blender, add the milk and blend it all together. Purée until very smooth. Add the dill and pulse to mix.

Scrape the soup back into the pan and warm gently.

To prepare the garnish: Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the almonds and sauté, stirring, until lightly golden, about 4 minutes. Take off the heat, add the paprika and salt, and stir to mix.

Serve soup in bowls, with almonds and paprika oil from sauté pan on top. Garnish with fresh dill and serve.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 220 Fat 14 g Sodium 490 mg

Carbohydrates 20 g Saturated fat 2 g Total sugars 3 g

Protein 6 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 starch, 2 ½ fat.