Toasted Bread in Savory Spinach Sauce
Zuppa in Brodo Con Spinaci

serves: 6 servings

This dish is also very good when made with Swiss chard. Cook the chard a minute or two longer than you would spinach.

1½ pounds spinach, preferably flat-leaf
2 quarts vegetable stock
freshly ground black pepper
½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
6 slices Italian bread
2 tablespoons unsalted butter


Remove the thick stems from the spinach. Wash the spinach in cool water to remove all sand and grit, changing the water as necessary. Drain the spinach. Stir the spinach a handful at a time into a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook just until wilted and bright green, about 1 minute. Drain the spinach and immediately cool it under cold running water. Squeeze the excess liquid out of the spinach and chop it finely.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, butter both sides of the bread sliced, using all the butter. Press one side of each slice firmly into 1/2 of the grated cheese so the cheese coats the bread in a generous, even layer. Arrange the bread cheese side down in a single layer in the skillet and toast the bread unrtil the cheese is golden brown and crispy. Move the bread around the pan as necessary to toast the slices evenly. Turn the slices over and toast the other side until golden brown. Place one toast in the bottom of each of six deep soup crocks.

In a medium-size saucepan bring the stock to a boil over high heat. Add the spinach and boil 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the stock and spinach over the bread in the crocks. Sprinkle with parsley and the remaining grated cheese. Serve immediately.