Green Soup

Samin Nosrat, goddess—of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, which I consumed in whole-book form right after it was published—just gave me a glorious upgrade to my standby green soup (from Anna Thomas’ recipe in Love Soup, which I have loved and slurped for years now). Nosrat’s soup is simpler and thinner than my former go to, quicker to make (once you have the homemade chicken stock on hand), and more intensely flavored. I halved the recipe, because I’m the only one in my house who loves green this much, and I sipped it warm, because there are hints of fall here in Central Texas. Note to the wise: don’t use an immersion blender if you halve the recipe; just hypothetically, it might create a Jackson Pollock of green soup over your stove and backsplash. Also, if you’re one whose genetics make cilantro taste like soap, this is not for you.

Spinach and Cilantro Soup with Tahini and Lemon, from Samin Nosrat, via Food 52’s Genius Recipes, as an adaptation from The New York Times Magazine:

For the sauce:

1/4 cup well-stirred tahini (I used Soom’s Organic Tahini)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, finely grated or pounded to a smooth paste
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (Penzey’s is my favorite source for spices zinging with freshness)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

For the soup:

7 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade (yes—I include a handful of peeled, sliced fresh ginger root when I made chicken stock, and it adds a lift of heat and bright flavor)
12 ounces baby spinach (about 12 packed cups)
4 cups roughly chopped cilantro, from 2 large bunches (I included all the stems, just as the experts at the taco places here in Austin do)
1/4 cup well-stirred tahini
2 teaspoons fine sea salt (I reduced this by 1/4 the amount, and it was still salty enough)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed


First, make the sauce: With a whisk, combine the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, salt, cumin, and red-pepper flakes with 2 tablespoons of water in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth, adding more water as needed to achieve a drizzle-able consistency.
Next, make the soup: Add the stock to a Dutch oven or heavy pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the spinach, cilantro, tahini, and salt, and return to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
Use an immersion blender to purée the soup (or transfer to a standard blender and purée, taking care to leave the center of the lid open and covered with a towel as you blend). Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and lemon, if desired.
Serve the soup immediately and drizzle with the tahini sauce. Cover and refrigerate the remaining soup and sauce for up to 1 week, or freeze the soup for up to 1 month.