SERVES 6 TO 8
Now, this soup uses real ingenuity. A vibrant green, the soup is beautiful to look at as well as eat. I call this a kitchen-sink soup because it uses vegetables, milk, and pasta, and was created just by having the ingredients on hand.
1 10-ounce bag fresh spinach, washed, drained, and stemmed
4 tablespoon (1/2 stick) butter
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 pound yellow summer squash (about 3 small), cubed
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups water
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt, or more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup ditalini or other soup pasta
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving
Place the spinach in a 3-quart soup pot, cover, and cook without any additional water until limp, about 3 minutes. Drain the spinach in a colander and let cool. Press out the excess water with a wooden spoon, then coarsely chop the spinach. Set aside.
Wipe out the soup pot, return it to the heat, and melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until soft. Add the squash and potatoes, and cook the vegetables together, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Add the water, milk, salt, and pepper. Stir, combining ingredients well, cover the pot, and boil gently for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Turn off the heat.
In a skillet, heat the remaining butter. Add the spinach and cook for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the spinach to the soup and stir well to blend.
In a food processor, puree the soup in batches until smooth. Return the soup to the soup pot and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, boil the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and add to the soup.
To serve, reheat the soup and serve in individual bowls. Pass the cheese for sprinkling on top.
Variation: Use thin slices of uncooked yellow squash as a garnish.
This recipe is from NELLA CUCINA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company Inc., in 1993.
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