If using fresh spinach, wash well and remove thick stems. In stainless steel pot, wilt spinach over low heat in just the water clinging to it. Chop and set aside. If using frozen spinach, defrost, then squeeze out as much liquid as possible. In soup pot, saute the onion in the olive oil until tender; add garlic and saute a couple of minutes more. Add 4 cups of the stock, the spinach and nutmeg. Bring to a boil lower heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the fresh basil and puree in a food processor or blender. (An emersion blender works well.) Return the pureed mixture to the soup pot. Add remaining 4 cups of stock and the milk. Heat through. Stir in the parmesan and salt and pepper. Serve in heated bowls and garnish with croutons. 8 servings.
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