This soothing soup is from the colorful Basque region of Spain. The recipe gets its rich, creamy texture from pureeing the ingredients, not from dairy or fat. Fresh young spinach and leeks give it lots of mineral nutrition, and the preparation is simplicity itself.
4 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
2 leeks, both white and pale green parts, cut into 4 or 5 pieces, crosswise
2 medium carrots, cut into chunks
1 bunch spinach
6 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
Croutons for garnish (optional)
1. In a large saucepan or stockpot, combine the potatoes, leeks, carrots, and spinach with the water and bring the contents to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 30 minutes, until the root vegetables are fork-tender. Add the oil and season to taste with salt. Cook for about 5 minutes longer so the flavors blend.
2. Puree the mixture in a blender, food processor, or food mill (you may have to do this in batches). Return the puree to the pot and gently reheat it, if necessary. Ladle into shallow soup bowls and serve, garnished with croutons, if you like.