Learning to Enjoy Spinach

Spinach Was Not a Favorite Food of My Youth

Spinach has always had a reputation for being a great source of nutrition.  It also has had a reputation for being disliked, especially by children.

Despite the best efforts of parents and the cartoon character Popeye the Sailor to convince children to eat spinach, the vegetable was near universally hated by children of my generation.

Back in the 1950s and 1960s when I was growing up the main source of spinach for most American families was the canned vegetable aisle in the grocery store.

A Tasteless Brown Green Blob on My Dinner Plate

Even Popeye the Sailor relied mainly on canned spinach.  Whenever the wiry little sailor was in a tight spot and had to defend himself or his fickle girlfriend, Olive Oyl, in a fight with a much bigger and stronger character, usually his nemesis, the big thug Bluto, he would reach under his shirt, pull out a can of spinach and consume it on one gulp.

As I recall, canned spinach was a rather tasteless, brownish green blob that looked like a mixture of over boiled weeds.  However, like bad tasting medicine, it was grudgingly consumed in the quest for good health (actually, my parents consumed it for good health, my siblings and I ate it because consuming it was a requirement for receiving desert at the end of the meal).

Chilled Spinach Soup - Perfect Hot Summer Entre

Chilled Spinach Soup Served on the Patio
Chilled Spinach Soup Served on the Patio | Source

As and Adult I Learned to Like Spinach

Early in my adult life some friends introduced me to fresh spinach salad with hot bacon dressing. The salad consisted of fresh spinach leaves topped with a warm bacon dressing which consisted of crushed bacon in a mixture of warm bacon grease and vinegar. It was quite tasty and I liked it.

I also learned how to make a decent quiche and after some experimenting found that I could give the quiche more body and make it more of a meal by mixing in a package of frozen spinach. While the frozen spinach, having a deep green color, looked a little more appealing than the canned spinach of my youth it was still basically a somewhat tasteless blob when heated and served alone. However, when included in the quiche, it made for a healthy and tasty meal.

As a parent, I found that my children liked the spinach quiche and thus never had a problem getting them to eat their spinach when served in this manner.

My Wife Introduces Me to Cream of Spinach Soup

My new wife Bella, however, is not fond of quiche so we rarely have any type of quiche these days but we both like fresh spinach in salads.

Recently my wife, who is quite a cook, has begun making a very good cream of spinach soup using fresh spinach. This is a good tasting soup that can be served hot or chilled.

Coming home from work on a hot summer evening in Arizona, I have found that a bowel of chilled spinach soup with some crackers and a glass of ice tea make a refreshing supper.

Bowl of Cream of Spinach Soup

Cream of Spinach Soup for Lunch
Cream of Spinach Soup for Lunch | Source

Making Spinach Soup

Fresh spinach leaves
Fresh spinach leaves | Source
Half & Half cream
Half & Half cream | Source
Colorful Spinach Soup for Lunch
Colorful Spinach Soup for Lunch | Source

Ingredients For Cream of Spinach Soup

  • 2 Lbs Fresh Spinach
  • 4 Cups Broth (Chicken or Beef depending upon taste)
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter or Margarine
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Cup Cream (can substitute Half & Half, Half & Half is a blend of milk and cream
  • Pinch Salt, Add salt to taste (NOTE: if you use canned broth check first to see if it contains salt
  • Pinch Pepper, Freshly Ground Black Pepper is best

Cooking and Mixing Instructions

  1. Put the broth and spinach in a pan and simmer for about ten minutes.
  2. Pour the contents of the pan into a blender (or food processor) and set the blender on puree.
  3. Melt the butter or margarine in a large pot and then stir in the flour. Slowly stir the flour and butter/margarine mixture over low heat for several minutes.
  4. Pour a small amount of the pureed spinach and broth mixture into the flour and margarine/butter mixture. Once mixed, pour the remaining puree into the pan.
  5. Increase the heat some and continue to cook and stir until the soup starts to come to a boil. Stir in the lemon juice, cream (or Half & Half), salt and pepper.
  6. Remove from heat and either serve hot or pour into a sealed container and refrigerate for later use.
  7. This makes about 6 cups of soup which, depending upon the serving size, will serve from six to two people. Serving size will depend upon whether the soup will be served as a part of a larger dinner or used as a light meal alone

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 20 min
Ready in: 35 min
Yields: 6 cups

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HubMob Logo | Source

© 2010 Chuck Nugent

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Comments 19 comments

Pinkchic18 profile image

Pinkchic18 4 years ago from Minnesota

Great recipe! My husband and I have been trying to eat more spinach because it's so good for you, but I've only been able to find a few ways to make it. Thanks for sharing!


Journey * profile image

Journey * 5 years ago from USA

Hi Chuck,

I really like the idea of making a spinach soup. I've never done that before. I'll give it a try. Thanks!


bobmnu profile image

bobmnu 6 years ago from Cumberland

I was in a restaurant and had cream of chicken soup with dumplings and spinach. It was very tasty. When I was a school administrator I received information oh the Hot Lunch Program run by the Government. It seems that they were investigating a head cook for fraud because she was using too much spinach. Her response was I put it in most dishes I cook. A cup of spinach for every gallon of pizza sauce, she used it in Barbecue Sandwiches, and many other dishes. If any students wanted to know what the green specks were she told them it was just some spices. Kids loved her dishes.


Granny's House profile image

Granny's House 6 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

It is good with butter, dash of vinigar, salt and pepper. I love spinich. I don't like it from a can. I have a great recipe for spinich soup. Some call it wedding soup. My kids love it.


kkalmes 6 years ago

Hello Chuck, it's so strange I was just talking vegetables with a friend not two hours ago... as a kid I ate spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, corn, but never under any circumstances peas. I enjoy a fresh spinach salad and spinach quiche... and a deep dish pizza with spinach and/or pepperoni.

Still don't touch peas...


jayb23 profile image

jayb23 6 years ago from India

As a kid I somehow didnt like spinach much. But then I realized as you also have rightly pointed out that spinach has loads of nutritions. And yes btw spinach soup is awesome. Cheers chuck and keep up the good work.


The Rising Glory profile image

The Rising Glory 6 years ago from California

As a kid my mom fixed that spinach in a can. You know, the kind that looks like dog vomit. Anyway, hated the stuff. The smell of it would bring me to a nauseous state. Then I get married and the new wife wants spinach. She doesn't understand how I could hate it so much having grown up on the fresh stuff. Finally she convinces me to try it. I love fresh spinach. I'll take a spinach salad over a regular one any day.


YU_First 1 profile image

YU_First 1 6 years ago from Uganda

I am surprised people find spinach detasteful! To me, spinach is a much better herb in comparison to all the others we eat. ...try cooking spinach in deep fried onions with sunseed oil. Its divine!


girly_girl09 profile image

girly_girl09 6 years ago from United States

Spinach is AWESOME sautéed with some olive oil and garlic. yum!


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

I love spinach - didn't as a kid - now I think it's great - as long as it doesn't come out of a can. Your spinach soup looks delicious.


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

Thanks for a good hub. I'm one of the few--I actually like spinach, mostly as the greens for salad. Add a few pine nuts and some vinegrette dressing and yum! I always thought spinach got a bad rap, and you're right--it's because cooked, it looks like a green blob!


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Chuck, this is a great subject matter, I juice my spinach with apples, and celery, yummy this is really good. Now I will try your soup....thumb up


ocbill profile image

ocbill 6 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

You hit the nail on the head with spinach in my childhood. I still think spinach is one of the most untasty green blob vegetables there is. Although it is a healthy as hell kind of blob. I'll eat it with something combined (shredded meat, green or red peppers, cheese, etc) to alter the taste. As a substitute, collard greens are slightly more savory.


soround profile image

soround 6 years ago from Pretoria South Africa

Hi Chuck thanks for the nice recipe it do look and sound good, I'm going to make it, will let you know what the family think of your spinach soup


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I didn't like spinach but I don't know why, but I was not big on vegetables in general. Now I think it is fine in a salad, spinach soup.


Nan 6 years ago

I'm going to try your spinach soup, it sounds good for this time of the year!


ed77burns 6 years ago

good hub ....contain good information


NZUNG SERAPHINE profile image

NZUNG SERAPHINE 6 years ago

Nice hub. I love it and I love spinach.best wishes.


zzron profile image

zzron 6 years ago from Houston, TX.

I agree spinach was also not one of my favorites either as a kid growing up. And to this day I still don't really care for it. Awesome hub.

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