This smoky, creamy, green soup is much more than the sum of its parts. Just a few strips of flavorful bacon transform a whopping two pounds of spinach into a decadent, addictive soup. Nutty Parmesan pulls it all together beautifully. Serve this with a salad and some crusty bread as an easy (but special) dinner.


• 4 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into 2-inch strips



• 1 medium onion, diced

50 cents

• 2 cloves garlic, chopped


• 2 lbs fresh spinach, chopped


• 1 16-oz. can chicken broth


• 2/3 cup half-and-half

$1.50 for a pint

• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

$3.50 for 10 oz.

• salt and pepper to taste



Total cost of ingredients:



Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon slices and cook for two to three minutes on each side, until brown. Remove two of the 2-inch strips and set aside (leave the rest in the pot). Add the onion and garlic and cook for five to six minutes, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant. Add the spinach and cook, stirring continuously, for four to five minutes, until it begins to wilt.

Add the chicken broth, stir well and cover pot. Cook, covered, for 15 minutes, until the spinach has broken down.

Purée mixture, using a blender or food processor, until completely smooth and return to the pot (this can also be done directly in the pot using an immersion blender). Stir in the half-and-half and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very creamy and thickened. Stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Crumble the reserved bacon pieces and set aside.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a few pinches of the reserved Parmesan and a sprinkle of the crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

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