This Creamy Spinach Feta Soup with Pine Nuts takes the flavor of spinach pie and turns it into a bowl of comfort.
Have you ever had Greek spinach pie? It’s one of my favorite indulgences when I visit our local Greek market. Sometimes the owner bakes spinach pies and sells them at the checkout counter. It’s so hard to resist when they’re displayed so nicely, hot out of the oven. This soup recipe is a nod to the Greek spinach pie, with briny feta cheese on top, and lots of spinach goodness going on. For a festive touch, I sprinkled some pomegranate seeds.
Last year, when I was at the Culinary Institute of America, one of the participating chefs suggested I try using raw pine nuts in my Creamy Cauliflower Soup to give it a creaminess without dairy. In this soup recipe, I use pine nuts two ways, blending some raw pine nuts into the soup for creaminess and sprinkling some toasted pine nuts on top for flavor and crunch.
I lightened up the recipe and made it lighter and low carb, using cauliflower in place of potatoes and light cream. Cauliflower has a natural creaminess to it when pureed. Earlier this year, I made a Skinny New England Clam Chowder for the Healthy Recipe Challenge on the Dr. Oz Show using cauliflower with great success.
Creamy Spinach Feta Soup with Pine Nuts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 celery heart stalks chopped
- 4 cups Cauliflower florets
- 3 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken stock
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 pound fresh spinach leaves
- 6 tablespoons raw pine nuts divided
- A few dashes Worcestershire sauce substitute soy sauce for vegetarian version
- fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
- pomegranate seeds optional
In a large pot, sauté garlic, onions and celery in olive oil until fragrant, about 4-5 minutes. Add wine, stock and cauliflower. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until tender, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, toast 3 tablespoons pine nuts in pan or in toaster oven at 325 degrees for 5-7 minutes; reserve.
Add spinach to cauliflower and cook until just wilted, a few minutes. Place in blender with 3 tablespoons raw pine nuts and purée. You may need to do this in two more batches. Pour into soup bowls and garnish with feta cheese and toasted pine nuts. Sprinkle some pomegranate seeds on top for a festive look.
Adapted from New England Soup Factory Cookbook.