Not Quite Nona’s Broccoli and Spinach Soup

The best way to enjoy a rainy afternoon is with a nice bowl of soup! This recipe comes from my Mother-in Law, one of the best cooks I know. She adapted it from one of her favorite recipe books, the Silver Palate Cookbook. She added her own awesome twists – a little potato to make it taste even creamier, and a touch of cinnamon which seems to bring out all of the flavors at once. This soup is so flavorful and satisfying, and the most gorgeous color of green.

Another great thing about soup is that you can celebrate all of the flavors of your home grown vegetables, even if they look a little funny. For example, we had some FLC’s (funny looking carrots) that no one would eat. But in soup form, they get chopped up and even pureed. Their deliciousness comes out and no one is the wiser.

Not quite Nona’s Broccoli and Spinach Soup

Recipe by StefanieCourse: Main, AppetizerDifficulty: Medium


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Cooking time


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A delightfully green soup that tastes creamy with no cream in the recipe. Adapted from the The Silver Palate Cookbook. Nona’s brilliant addition is the touch of cinnamon which gives it a kick and seems to enhance every flavor.


  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced

  • 2 leeks, sliced thin

  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper

  • 2 carrots, diced

  • 2 green onion stalks, diced

  • 2 stalks celery, diced

  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and chopped

  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

  • 6 cloves garlic, finely diced

  • 1 tsp oregano

  • 1 tsp basil

  • 1 tsp thyme

  • 1 tsp tarragon

  • 2 Tbsp Suzie Q (to taste)

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 6 cups vegetable stock

  • 2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped

  • 2 medium sized heads broccoli, florets only, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley

  • 4 cups fresh spinach, washed and stems removed

  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar


  • In a large dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add the onions and leeks. Add sea salt and several grinds of pepper. Cook for 10 minutes until softened. Add the carrots, green onions, celery and potato and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
  • Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme, tarragon, red pepper, and Susie Q spice. Stir in the broth and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add broccoli and parsley. Cover and simmer for another ten minutes, until soft. Remove bay leaves. Add spinach, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat and let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  • Working in batches, blend soup to preferred consistency. Alternatively, use a stick blender in dutch oven. Return soup to duch oven and heat on low for 5-10 minutes. Add vinegar, salt and pepper to taste, and serve right away. If the soup sits too long simmering on the stove, the color will turn from that pretty, spinach green to an uglier, browner, too-cooked, spinach-y green.


  • If you can’t find Suzie Q’s spice, here’s a substitution that works in a pinch for 2 Tbsp Suzie Q’s. 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp black pepper , 1 tsp parsley and 1 tbsp sugar.

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2 thoughts on “Not Quite Nona’s Broccoli and Spinach Soup

  1. Stefanie

    That’s great to hear, Maureen! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Sounds like a wonderful time growing up in a house like that. ☺️

  2. Maureen Freimuth Pass

    I made this recipe today and I’m enjoying it right now for lunch! It is delicious! Thank you for sharing your mother in laws creation😍

    I used champagne vinegar in place of red wine and I had to leave out the Cardamom as I didn’t have. I used a tiny bit of heavy cream in my searching and my husband may use sour cream.

    Very satisfying and will freeze leftovers!
    Love your story as I grew up on a small family farm where we grew our own veggies and raised some animals. Mom and dad were feed 8k Ida and 2 adults. I always say they were ahead of their time! Great memories for your family!

    Maureen Pass

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