In the midst of the wonderful excesses of holiday eating, it feels good to take a break and make a soup made with pure, cleansing ingredients like lemon and spinach. This soup is simple, yet the flavor combination of lemon and spinach is glorious. And we all need the infusion of vitamins and iron that spinach gives, especially at this time of year.
I had some lemons left over from making my daughter’s lemon birthday cake (with lemon frosting!), and was looking for a way to use them. Because I have been craving something deep green and full of nutrients, I came across this delicious recipe for lemon spinach soup, adapted from the charming cookbook “Hollyhocks & Radishes” by Bonnie Stewart Mickelson. The broth in this soup is so good, I could sip it all by itself! The addition of the spinach, carrots, and celery make it even better, and the lemon is just lovely.
Lemons are one of my favorite things to cook and bake with in the colder months, because they are so cheerful and invigorating at a time when we are a little short on sunshine. (I would have done a post with the recipe for my daughter’s lemon cake with lemon frosting, but as I was in the midst of preparing for her birthday party, I was too distracted to take any photos. Maybe I’ll have to make it again!)
Anyway, soup is so good for the soul. It is warming and soothing, infusing the body with physical and spiritual sustenance. Making soup is very relaxing for me, because I love the way each new ingredient changes the mixture, and it is peaceful to have it simmering on the stove as I work. This is such a busy time of year, and it is important to take some time to do something healing and relaxing, so you can calm yourself and not end up driving everyone around you crazy (not that I would know anything about that! :)). I absolutely love holiday baking, and there will be some more of that to come on this blog, but sometimes I crave a good, nutrient-rich meal that offers comfort and a boost of energy.
If you are looking for a refreshing, invigorating way to help balance the excesses of the holidays, I highly recommend this soup. And I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I am joining Angie at Fiesta Friday this week, co-hosted by Johanne @ French Gardener Dishes and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons. It has been awhile since I have had a chance to look at what my fellow bloggers have been up to, so I look forward to catching up!
Lemon Spinach Soup
- 8 cups of chicken broth
- 3 small carrots (or 2 medium-sized), peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
- 3/4 to 1 pound of fresh spinach
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 3 tablespoons of flour
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large pot, bring 7 of the 8 cups of chicken broth to a boil. Add the carrots and celery, and simmer for about 3-5 minutes, or until just tender. While the vegetables are simmering, wash the spinach and tear it into bite-sized pieces. Add the spinach to the soup and simmer gently until just-tender, about 3-5 minutes, trying not to over-cook it.
While the spinach is simmering, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour with a whisk and cook for one minute. Whisk in the reserved cup of chicken broth, and stir until smooth. Add this to the soup pot when the spinach is ready, and simmer, stirring as the liquid thickens.
In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks and lemon juice together. Stir the mixture into the soup pot until well combined.
Heat the soup to the point of almost boiling, then turn it off. (Don’t boil it, or it will curdle). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!