This cream of spinach soup is a silky blend of fresh baby spinach, herbs, and cream. A dollop of sour cream and bits of crispy bacon top each delicious serving. Not only is this lovely soup easy to make, it's also gluten-free!
A bacon lardon is a thin strip of bacon cooked and used as a garnish. Lardons start with raw bacon cut into even 1/4-inch strips. In contrast, crumbled bacon starts with crispy, full-sized strips broken into odd-sized pieces.
A timesaving safety tip is to place your bacon in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Not only is slicing firm bacon faster, but your knife is less likely to slip and result in an injury. In fact, working with slightly frozen meat simplifies clean-up too as the bacon doesn't stick to your cutting board.
Stack 3 or 4 strips of quick-frozen bacon on top of one another like pancakes. With a chef’s knife, cut the stack into 1/4-inch slices. As they become crispy, strips stuck together will separate into individual pieces. The result is a topping that adds a delicious, smoky crunch to your soup.
6 slices thick smoked bacon, cut into lardons (see above)
1 large red onion, peeled and diced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups chicken stock
2 - 12 ounce bags fresh baby spinach, rinsed
Salt to taste
1 cup light cream
Sour cream for garnish
1. Cook bacon: In a Dutch oven, cook the bacon lardons over medium-high heat until crispy. Place cooked bacon on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Set aside.
2. Sauté onion: Drain off all but 1-2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings then add the diced onion and red pepper flakes. Cook for 3 minutes or until onion is translucent. As onions cook, scrape bottom of pan to loosen the tasty brown bits.
3. Add garlic: Add minced garlic and stir. Cook for about 30 seconds or until it becomes fragrant.
4. Add: Add the diced potatoes and chicken stock.
5. Simmer: Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
6. Add spinach: Add the spinach and cover with lid. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
7. Purée: Remove the soup from heat. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup right in the Dutch oven. Salt to taste.
8. Add cream: Stir in the cream and heat over low heat. Do not let it boil.
9. Garnish: Once the soup becomes thick and creamy, it is ready to be served. Ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream and crispy bacon pieces.
Elliot, Jeffrey, and James P. DeWan. "Cutting Meat." In Complete Book of Knife Skills: The Essential Guide to Use, Techniques & Care, 265-290. Toronto, Ont: Robert Rose, 2010.