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Do you remember the nascence of your first love affair? Or any of them, for that matter?

My love affair with cream of spinach soup began approximately twenty five years ago. I don't remember the month or the day, or even the year exactly; I do remember that my friend Marlene was there, and that it happened at the Rue de Paris restaurant in San Jose. On North 1st Street, in San Jose, in fact.

She had wanted to take me to a ritzy restaurant for some reason, now lost to the decay of memory, and that was one of her favorites. I remember nothing else of what was had that evening, but I remember the cream of spinach soup. Looking to the only context I had to compare it, I was sure that Campbell's made nothing like it.

On occasion, I liked to cook for Marlene. And when I cook for someone, it's usually experimental. (One I'll always remember was the whole head of cauliflower, marinated and baked. Came out pretty well, as my possibly wishful memory tells me.) So sometime after that, I thought I'd give it a whirl. Now Marlene, while neither svelte nor particularly overweight, was often on some kind of diet or another, so I proceeded with that in mind.

I had no idea what I was doing. I knew spinach would be involved. Obviously the sous at Rue de Paris used cream in his cream of spinach soup, but I wasn't about to do that to Marlene, so I used lowfat milk instead. I don't remember what else went into it, but I think that was the singular choice that turned my creation into a travesty of the intended result. What I got instead, I should have submitted to the Jell-O corporation so as to save them the time of figuring out how to make spinach jello, in case they were about to do so.

Fast forward to 2007, when I buy a Vita-Mix based on a combination of wanting to eat better food and a dim recollection of my parents buying one when I was wee.

Vita-Mix is wonderful. It can make very healthy foods. It can do it lickety-split. And it's easy. That's very important. As long as you don't mind that much of what you use it for is making soup or smoothies (not to say that it can't do anything else, but you're not going to get baked alaska out of it), using it consists mostly of picking the ingredients from the refrigerator/pantry/garden and throwing it in the vessel.

The amazing point relevant to this writeup is that the recipe for cream of spinach soup which I am about to present to you uses lowfat milk, and actually makes soup rather than jello! (And the soup is delicious, to boot! It's also something like fluorescent green in color, so be prepared for that.) Assuming you have the makings, it's about two minutes from start to switch flipping, and three minutes from then to dinner.

Got your Vita-Mix? Want good soup? Here's how.

Into your empty Vita-Mix liquid vessel, chuck a big handful of spinach, the main player. Then add the following supporting cast:

  • A stalk of celery
  • A slice of onion
  • A medium carrot, or a few baby carrots
  • A tablespoon of cornstarch
  • A vegetable boullion cube
  • A quarter cup of cheese
  • A cup of lowfat milk

and let 'er rip. (You knew to put the lid on, right?)

Mmmmmm, mmmmmm, good, to borrow a phrase.

Now the basic recipe I of course got from the Vita-Mix cookbook. As you probably know since you have a Vita-Mix, it's fun to also toss in anything else that might be handy and seems like it won't ruin your meal. Tonight I added some tomatoes. It didn't seem to make much difference, but it had tomato in it!

This is so easy, and so good, I make it about twice a week now. The coworkers I've made it for exclaimed at its goodness; I'm sure you will, too.


sloebertje says "I take it this is a cold soup?" Not if prepared as directed. You could make it cold, by only running the machine on high for 20-30 seconds. The soup is already made by that time. The rest of the three minutes I mentioned is cooking time; the soup will be steaming when you pour it out. As mentioned in the Vita-Mix writeup, the machine can cook liquids simply by virtue of how fast the blades are spinning!

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