It’s the perfect time to treat yourself to a warm and delicious serving of Finnish Spinach Soup (Pinaattikeitto)! With the temperature dropping, a bowl of creamy and flavor-packed vegetable soup is always a winner. Have it for your next meal!
But since winter is the spinach season, I tend to make this at least once a week during the cold months — a bowl of deliciousness and comfort that never disappoints.
What is pinaattikeitto?
Let’s see: ‘pinaatti‘ is the Finnish word for spinach, and ‘keitto‘ is for soup. So yep, the direct translation is spinach soup.
All countries in the Nordics have their version of this vegetable soup, and they also vary in what they serve it with.
In Sweden, we usually have prinskorv (small sausages) with it, while in Finland, it’s served with a hard boil egg that’s cut in half.
Try them both and decide which one you prefer!
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- Spinach – when in season, I suggest using mature, fresh spinach; and don’t forget to remove the stems.
- Butter – instead of oil, we need to use butter for preparing this creamy spinach soup; salted or unsalted butter will work.
- Flour – all-purpose flour is all you need.
- Shallots – use two to three small ones and chop them thinly.
- Stock – I generally use vegetable stock when making Finnish spinach soup.
- Cream – I use heavy cream (sometimes referred to as double cream) for this pinaattikeitto recipe.
- Salt and pepper – just use your favorite brands for seasoning.
Start making your pinaattikeitto by boiling water in a large pot, then add the spinach (photo 1).
Cook the spinach, drain, then place in freezing water for about three minutes.
Drain and use your hands to squeeze the remaining liquid out of the leaves.
Melt the butter over medium heat using a medium or large pot (photo 2).
Once the butter has completely melted, add the flour (photo 3).
Mix until it turns darker in color.
Add the chopped shallots (photo 4).
Mix and cook until they become soft.
Pour the stock (photo 5).
Mix with a whisk to make sure there are no lumps.
Cover with a lid and bring to a boil.
Add the cream and the drained (and squeezed) spinach, then mix (photo 6).
Remove the pot of creamy spinach soup from the heat.
Use an immersion blender to carefully puree the soup to your desired texture (photo 7).
Place the pot back into the heat and season with salt and pepper (photo 8).
Mix, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil.
Your pinaattikeitto is now ready for serving!
- You can also add ice in the cold water to stop the spinach from cooking after draining them from the pot — to get to that freezing water temperature.
- To avoid burning the melted butter and flour, keep the heat to medium. Once you pour the stock, then adjust the heat to high.
- You can use a stand blender if that’s what you have instead of an immersion one.
But be careful; better to wait for the soup to cool a bit before transferring it to the blender.
- Chop the spinach finely. You can do this instead of pureeing the soup. It’s perfect when you prefer to have bits of green in every spoonful of your pinaattikeitto.
- Milk. Yep, it’s quite normal (and common) to replace cream with milk when preparing Finnish spinach soup — a lot of locals do that too.
- Onion. You can use it instead of shallots, but you must cook it longer.
- Nutmeg. If you want some spice, add a pinch of grated nutmeg in the end.
It’s so easy, right? So, give this creamy spinach soup recipe a try on one of these cloudy, cold days — you will not regret it!
Finnish Spinach Soup Recipe (Pinaattikeitto)
- 1 pound spinach (500 grams), stems removed
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 to 3 small shallots, chopped
- 4 cups stock
- 1 cup cream
- salt and pepper, to season
- Using a large pot, bring water to a boil, then add spinach.
- Cook until they become soft — drain, then place in icy water for about 3 minutes.
- Drain and use your hands to squeeze the remaining liquid out of the leaves; then set aside.
- Using a medium or large pot, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Once the butter has completely melted, add the flour.
- Mix until it turns darker in color.
- Add the chopped shallots and mix and cook until they become soft.
- Pour the stock and mix with a whisk to make sure there are no lumps.
- Cover with a lid and bring to a boil.
- Add the cream and the drained (and squeezed) spinach, then mix.
- Remove the pot of soup from the heat.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the soup to your desired texture.
- Place the pot back into the heat and season with salt and pepper.
- Mix, cover with a lid, and bring to a boil.
- Your Finnish spinach soup is now ready for serving!
- Cook’s Tip #1: You can also add ice cubes in the cold water to stop the cooking of the spinach after draining them from the pot — to get to that extremely cold-water temperature.
- Cook’s Tip #2: Ensure you keep the heat to medium when melting the butter and stirring the flour. You can turn it up to high after pouring the stock and bringing it to a boil.
- Cook’s Tip #3: A stand blender can also be used for pureeing the soup. Just be cautious and wait for the soup to cool a bit before transferring it to the blender.