The potatoes and parsnips give this soup body, and the spinach and lemon make it bright. It's sustaining, yet light and exciting.
• 5 small potatoes • 3 cups spinach
• 1 parsnip • 3 cloves garlic
• 1 onion • lemon
• olive oil • salt
• 4 cups vegetable broth (store-bought, or make your own—scroll to the bottom of this page for a recipe)
Mince the garlic and the onion. Peel the potatoes and parsnip, and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, then add the garlic and onion. Cook, stirring, until soft and lightly browned, about six minutes.
Add the potatoes and parsnip, and cook for about five to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, so that the vegetables are golden but not browned.
Add the stock and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are completely cooked. Using an immersion blender, a food processor, or a regular blender, puree the soup to break down some of the potato pieces. Add the spinach, one cup at a time, blending in between additions so that the soup is smooth and bright green. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice, then blend again. Taste for salt and lemon and add more of either as you think necessary.
Vegetable Broth • 2 small onions
• 2 small carrots • 2 small celery sticks
• bay leaf • dried thyme
• dried rosemary • whatever other vegetable scraps you have lying around (in this case, potato peels)
• olive oil
Chop one each of the onions, carrots, and celery sticks. Warm the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot and add the chopped vegetables and about half a teaspoon each of dried rosemary and thyme. Cook, stirring, on medium heat, until the vegetables are browned.
Add about four to five cups of water. Cut the other onion, carrot, and celery stick in half, and add them to the pot along with the bay leaf and a quarter teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and boil for five minutes, then reduce heat and simmer for about half an hour. Strain the broth and use or freeze immediately.