Poached Garlic Spinach Soup

For fall and winter, this is my go-to soup. The sweetness of the poached garlic and the sauteed leeks gives a nice comforting balance to the soup, while the spinach offers a refreshing pop of green goodness. I like to add a garnish of a few dots of sriracha- the color contrast really makes the dish stand out, and the heat is a nice touch on a cold night.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion (1/4-inch dice)
  • 1 cup finely chopped leek, white part only
  • 1/2 cup diced celery (1/4-inch dice)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup diced, peeled, russet potatoes or celery root
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 to 5 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups roughly chopped spinach leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Sriracha to garnish
  1. Put garlic in a saucepan, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then drain. Repeat two times (this helps remove some of the acrid elements of the garlic, and bring out its natural sweetness).
  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized pot. Add the onion, leek, celery, bay leaf, and a little salt. Cover and cook until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the potatoes, blanched garlic, and stock. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes. Add the spinach and cream, cooking just long enough to wilt the spinach. Transfer to blender (or use a stick blender) to puree the soup. Garnish with a few dots of sriracha and serve!
  3. Note on blenders and hot stuff- the release of steam when blending hot stuff in a blender can be problematic, as the release can be enough to pop the top of the blender and spray hot liquid onto you. Definitely not a good start to a meal. Don't fill the blender more than halfway at a time, and instead of the hard top, take off the lid and cover the top of the blender with a towel or rag, which will allow the heat to escape while still catching any spillover.