Sailor Man Soup

spinach dill soup

I absolutely fell in love with these easy herb-boosted soups when I was traveling through Brussels and Ghent for work back in the early 2000’s. Whether it was this spinach dill recipe or some chicory, asparagus, tarragon, savory, or lovage variety…I was absolutely smitten with those flavors.

When we would have conference breaks (yawn), I would head straight toward littel cafeteria (such a bad name for the European and wrangle myself a proper soup. They were so much more delicate than what I was used to in the USA. I also enjoyed how it was not completely laden with butter as so many things are in various parts of French inspired Europe.

Spinach Dill Soup Recipe

Go shopping. It can be a romantic, fun experience. Think about it. “Fruits of our labor”? “Fruitful” excursion? “This dog will hunt”..oh wait, that’s not one. Nevermind.

Note: when scaling up, just make note of the ratio between spinach to dill. And remember, I am using the metric system as much as possible in my recipes.

The Big Ingredient Deconstruction

Land, Savoy! I like this type of spinach due to its texture and slightly bitter notes. It also holds up well when cooking and blending. A lot better than some of the softer varieties like Red Cardinal spinach or Catalina spinach.

spinach

Freshy, fresh dill. Wow, I love what this herb does to round out the bitter creamy elements of this dish. It is absolutely necessary to use fresh dill.

dill

Unsalted artisanal butter. A properly made butter is far superior to margarine and oils for creating a roux in my point of view. I also always want to control my salts. It’s just a thing with me.

Flour. This is one of your thickeners and will help support the cream and stability in your soup.

Shallots or a Vidalia onion. These are mild, sweeter and really easy to chop without crying (even with a sharp knife). They are also used extensively throughout France and the surrounding influenced regions.

Fresh, no-sodium chicken bone stock. I always, always, make my own. It’s cheaper, healthier, tastier, full of body, and you are in control of all the aromatics and salt (or lack thereof). By not buying homemade stock you are selling all your recipes short. Look, you have come this far, why not make a bunch and freeze it?

Light cream. I simply don’t like to over due it here. I do enjoy the creamy finish but I don’t have to consume a ton of calories and fats just to get a soup down. Try to sub in a 100 grams of avocado and see how that treats you.

Freshly ground nutmeg. For those of you who don’t really like this nut, I can’t blame you. It’s also a bit odd in savory dishes but fear not, we are only putting a very tiny “dusting” of it with from a microplane grater. Trust me, it works.

Freshly cracked Tellicherry peppercorn and Kosher salt. You will definitely need to add 3 grams of salt but the rest is by taste and your audience. I like the crisp flavor of Tellicherry peppercorns but as long as you use freshly cracked you’ll be fine.

 

I recommend serving this soup quite hot, and only in 1 cup servings. Add a half of hard boiled egg, some dill garnish, freshly cracked pepper and some croutons. It’s healthy, rich and incredibly delicious but don’t ruin a good thing and over indulge. Temperance my friends…temperance.

Spinach & Dill Soup Recipe

Spinach & Dill Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 350 grams fresh curly Savoy spinach
  • 50 grams of freshly minced dill
  • 15 grams of unsalted artisanal butter.
  • 8 grams of sifted flour.
  • 60 grams of minced shallots (or Vidalia onion).
  • 2 cups fresh, no-sodium chicken bone stock.
  • 1/4 cup light cream.
  • Freshly ground nutmeg
  • 100 grams of fresh dill

Instructions

  1. When you measure out the spinach make sure to remove the stems and make sure the leaves are dry.
  2. Blanch the spinach uncovered for a few minutes and then plop it in an ice bath or under really cold water until cool. The leaves should be soft. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can or it will water down your beautiful creation. Also covering it while it cooks will ruin some of the color due to an amino acid.
  3. Start your roux (flour+fat). Melt the butter and add the flour to it until it barely turns brown.
  4. Add the shallots and stir
  5. Add a pinch of salt
  6. Add the chicken stock and bring everything to a boil for 2 minutes
  7. Add the cream and let it bubble for 30 seconds while stirring in the dill
  8. Add the spinach for 30 seconds
  9. Take everything into a large CuisinArt (or work in batches) and puree.
  10. At this point while it is still hot in the CuisinArt, add a pinch of salt. Taste it. Good? No? Add a pinch more. This is cooking 101.
  11. You done done it! Enjoy.
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