By: Nettie Colón
Nothing says spring like the first harvests of greenhouse grown spinach and brightly colored spring onions! This recipe is a perfect way to transition from winter to spring–respecting the remaining potatoes stored in root cellars since October and paying homage to new vibrant green vegetables, which add crunch and lightness to our plates after the heaviness of a long winter.
You can make this soup your #WeeklyMarketMeal by topping it with chopped Red Table Meat Co. salami or simply garnish it with green onions for a humble spring first course. Serves 2 as a meal or 4 as a first course.
For the Pesto:
- 2 cups spinach (or 1 ½ cups spinach and ½ cup basil)
- Zest and juice of ½ a lemon
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 Tablespoons of any roasted nut (pine nuts, almonds, etc. — optional)
- ¼ cup olive oil (you can add more if you like it saucy)
- ¼ – ⅓ cup freshly grated friesago cheese from Shepherd’s Way Farm
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Soup:
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 pound potatoes, peeled and diced
- ½ cup onion (bulb), diced
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground white pepper
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ cup milk
- 2 ounces Red Table Meat Co. salami, casing removed and chopped (optional)
- 1-2 onion tops or green onions, chopped (optional garnish)
First, make the pesto: Place the spinach, lemon juice and zest, garlic and nuts (if using) into a food processor. Pulse until nicely chopped (30 seconds or so). Next, slowly add in olive oil and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Next, make the soup: Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. When it foams, add the potatoes and onions and toss them in the butter until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and sweat the potatoes on a gentle heat for approximately 10 minutes.
Add the stock and continue to cook for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Remove from heat and stir in the milk. Purée the soup in a food processor or with an immersion blender in the pan until smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
To serve, divide salami into empty soup bowls (if using) and top with the soup. Swirl a large spoonful of pesto into each bowl and garnish with green onions if desired. Leftover pesto can be added to other soups, beans, pasta, or used as a sauce for chicken, fish, pork and lamb. Pesto can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.