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Spinach & Polenta Soup

I admit, it may be a bit odd to make thick, hot soup when it’s pushing 90 degrees outside. But I’m on a mission to use up all of our food stuffs in the next week, including a half kilo of polenta. So, sorry husband! Sit in front of the fan and eat it.

Polenta is a ground cornmeal that has a smooth, creamy texture when cooked. It originated in Italy, so I suppose it’s no surprise that it’s so popular in Buenos Aires. According to Wikipedia it’s known as a “peasant food”, which seems kind of rude, right? But considering I’ve made at least five meals out of this one-kilo bag with no end in sight, I suppose I can see the correlation.

I actually purchased the polenta just to try this recipe out in the first place. It was so good that rather than expanding my polenta-cooking repertoire I just made it again…and again, and again. It’s cheap, super flavorful, and takes about 30 minutes to whip together. Well, 45 if you have to carefully clean each leaf of spinach, like I do.

The original recipe was from Bon Appétit. I’ve altered it to suit my preferences.


  • 6 cups (or more) of chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup polenta
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 8 ounces baby spinach leaves
  • Fresh shredded parmesan or sharp cheddar cheese

Bring 6 cups of broth to a simmer in a sauce pan; cover to keep warm. Whisk polenta and flour in heavy large pot. Add 1 cup hot broth; whisk over medium-high heat until smooth. Stir in butter and garlic; sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Gradually add 5 cups hot broth by cupfuls. Boil gently over medium heat until polenta is tender and soup is creamy and thickened, whisking frequently and adding more broth to thin, if desired, about 15 to 25 minutes depending on the strength of your stovetop. Stir in spinach by handfuls; simmer until wilted, stirring often, 5 minutes longer. Season with more coarse salt and black pepper. Spoon into bowls and top with shredded cheese.