This soup belongs to a category of soups I like to call "Cream of Green". Basically it stems from the belief that you can take almost any combination of green vegetables, pair them with an appropriate cheese and come up with a lovely soup. If you take a look in our recipe archives, you'll see a few other examples: Broccoli and Stilton Soup, Cream of Cress Soup and Leeks and Stilton Soup. With spinach and zucchini for my base this time, I decided to be a little more subtle in my cheese choice and went for a Jeune Cantal, which has a soft nutty flavour and melts very nicely.
Spinach and Zucchini Soup
1 small bag (8 oz./3 cups loosely packed) clean spinach
1 small zucchini
3 small onions (or one big one)
1/4 a nutmeg, ground
1/2 cup Jeune Cantal, grated (a Monterey Jack would be a good substitute if it's not too sharp)
1 cup milk
3 cups beef broth (I've run out of chicken and mushroom Better Than Boullion: if any of my family is reading this, PLEASE SEND MORE)
a little butter
a little lemon juice
Sauté the chopped onions in the butter until transluscent and then add the zucchini, sliced in thin rounds. Fry for a few minutes, then add the washed spinach. Cover. When the spinach is wilted, add half the broth and purée in a blender or with a hand-held immersion blender. (Cook's aside: this is fast becoming my favourite gadget. I don't know why I waited so long to buy one!)
Add the rest of the broth, the pepper and the nutmeg and bring to a boil. Slowly add the cheese, allowing it to melt as you go. Turn down the heat and add the milk. (You can use crème fraîche or sour cream instead of the milk and lemon. Either way works, depending on what you happen to have in the fridge.) Taste for seasoning and add a squeeze of lemon juice to liven the flavours.
It really was very tasty. In addition, it only takes about 20 minutes to make and has loads of vitamins. The above recipe made enough for two deep bowls last night at dinner and another for my lunch today!