Healthy, delicious and vibrantly green, this creamy, Ballymaloe Fresh Spinach Soup (with no cream) comes together in less than an hour and has been bringing rave reviews for over 50 years!
With summer waning and a few nights that dipped into the 50’s, I’m ready to put soups back on the menu, how about you? This delicious fresh spinach soup is a great transition as it’s light, super healthy and has the prettiest vibrant green color imaginable. It’s wonderful with a toasted cheese sandwich and will bring lots of oohs and ahhs when served as an appetizer soup.
As the name implies, this fresh spinach soup is a recipe from Ballymaloe in Ireland where I recently spent a fabulous week taking one of their cookery classes. I adapted the recipe a bit to suit our taste and used spinach rather than watercress, as it’s more readily available here in the U.S. This soup has been a favorite at the internationally renowned Ballymaloe House Restaurant ever since it opened in 1964.
Creamy with no cream
I love that this fresh spinach soup is super creamy with no cream necessary. The ingredient list is simple; butter, onion, potatoes, chicken broth, milk and loads of fresh spinach. Eight ounces might not sound like a lot, but spinach is light and eight ounces is a HUGE bowlful!
The onion and potato are gently sautéd (aka sweating) for 10 minutes then simmered together with chicken broth and milk until the veggies are super tender. The mountain of fresh spinach is then added and everything is blended to create this delicious, silky smooth soup.
Spinach, a superfood
Spinach is well known as a superfood. What does that mean? Superfoods are nutrient-dense ingredients considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. Spinach has high levels of vitamins A, C and K, magnesium, iron and manganese and has an almost endless list of health benefits. In addition, it’s super low-calorie, definitely a win, win, win ingredient!
Easy way to mix up this creamy fresh spinach soup
I like to use an immersion blender to make things easy when making creamy soups like this. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you may want to pick one up or put it on your wish list. They’re reasonably priced and are little kitchen workhorses. It’s so nice to be able to puree soups like this fresh spinach soup, right in the pot, with no transfer to a separate appliance.
I’ve tried several immersion blenders, some super fancy and some pretty basic. My favorite is this simple but versatile Cuisinart Smart Stick. It can be used to blend things in pots, bowls, pitchers and measuring cups and comes with a whisk attachment.
Add a pretty and delicious garnish!
This fresh spinach soup is great on its own, but I like to add a dollop of Greek yogurt that’s been thinned with a bit of milk or cream. I’m including an easy recipe for Rosemary Croutons which can be made in minutes in a pan on the stovetop. They add a nice pop of flavor and make a delicious crunchy garnish for the soup.
Café Tips for making this Ballymaloe Fresh Spinach Soup
- I like to use baby spinach for this soup. It’s sweet and mild in flavor. Regular spinach can be tough and get bitter as the leaves get large. Most grocery stores carry baby spinach in both bags and cartons.
- My favorite potatoes for creamy soups are Yukon gold or other yellow flesh potatoes. They have a nice buttery flavor and pretty pale yellow color.
- I love the chicken broth from Trader Joes. It’s reasonably priced, has great flavor and a nice golden color.
- If you wanted to make this vegetarian, just swap out the chicken broth for vegetable broth.
- There are lots of ways to garnish this fresh spinach soup. As mentioned above, I used a dollop of thinned Greek yogurt, but you could also swirl a few drops of heavy cream or herb oil through the soup. In lieu of the rosemary croutons, crumpled, cooked bacon, toasted nuts, pepitas or a scatter of fresh herbs would be wonderful.
- Herb flowers or other small edible flowers make a pretty garnish for this soup.
- I used whole grain bread with the crusts removed for my croutons but sourdough bread, brioche bread or any rustic type of bread is also delicious! Feel free to leave the crust on if you like.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 medium potatoes (about 1 pound) peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 large onion peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt more, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup milk (I prefer whole milk)
- 8 ounces fresh spinach
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons salted butter
- ½ teaspoon fresh finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 ½ cups diced whole grain bread sourdough or other crusty bread, 3-4 slices
In a medium-large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter. When it foams, add the potatoes and onions and stir until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and a couple grinds of freshly ground black pepper. Reduce heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for 10 minutes until veggies are softened.
- Add the broth and the milk and return to a boil. Reduce heat to a steady simmer and cook, uncovered for 2-25 minutes or until the veggies are very tender.
Add the fresh spinach and cover the pot for 5 minutes to allow the spinach to wilt.
- Blend the soup with an immersion blender or in a regular blender or food processor. If you use a regular blender or food processor, allow the soup to cool slightly before blending to prevent a pressure build-up (and a big mess). Taste and add more salt and freshly ground black pepper, if needed.
- Melt the 2 teaspoons butter over medium-low heat in a medium sauté pan. Add the rosemary and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Add the diced bread and stir gently but thoroughly to coat the bread. Cook 10 for minutes, stirring frequently, until croutons are a light golden and crisp. Remove from heat and allow to cool before storing in an airtight container.
See Café tips for further instructions and tips.
Adapted from Simply Delicious by Darina Allen
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