As I sat to write this post, everything felt a little bittersweet. Knowing that this is the last recipe that I will share from the island left me feeling sad, but also gave me a sense of closure. Life is calling us back to the U.S. to be with family and take the steps to make our move to Greece permanent, so what better way to comfort us through this time of transition than with a hot bowl of this creamy spanakopita soup.
With the onset of cold weather here, we are finally able to enjoy cool season vegetables like cauliflower and spinach, both of which have become almost daily staples in our kitchen. Soups and stews are typical cold weather fare here in Greece and while we have been eating copious amounts of classic Greek soups like fasolada, fakes, and avgolemono – I was craving something green, which got my wheels turning and eventually led to me dreaming up this spanakopita inspired soup.
If you’re not familiar with spanakopita, it is basically a fillo dough pie filled with spinach, onions, scallions, garlic, herbs and often times feta cheese. While spanakopita is one of our very favorite Greek dishes, it can be a bit time consuming to make, so turning all of those flavors into a soup that comes together in less than 30 minutes is pretty amazing. The only thing creamy spanakopita soup would be missing is the texture of the crispy fillo dough, but don’t fret! Crispy halloumi croutons and toasted pine nuts stand in for the fillo and are the perfect textural compliment to the smooth and creamy soup.
This recipe is super adaptable. For example, you could actually use any seasonal greens along with the spinach (think kale, chard, collards, arugula). The soup can be made vegan by using crispy tofu in place of the halloumi and a soft vegan cheese in place of the feta (we like Kite Hill vegan soft cheese). And because the soup uses cauliflower for creaminess, it doesn’t need starchy thickeners to achieve its smooth, creamy texture. Just imagine, all of the flavor of spanakopita in a hot, comforting bowl of soup that comes together with little effort.
And there we have it, my friends, the final recipe I will be sharing from the island. I have so many more Greek-inspired meals that I want to share here on the blog and I look forward to doing so once we are back in the U.S. Life is unpredictable and filled with ups and downs, but no matter what life brings our way, coming here to share recipes and thoughts with you guys brings me such joy and encouragement, so I just want to say thank you for being here with me through thick and thin. It is such an incredible thing to know that the same recipe that my hubby and I are finding comfort in, may find its way into your bellies and do the same <3
CREAMY SPANAKOPITA SOUP
- Total Time: 0 hours
- Yield: 4 1x
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 4 scallions, diced
- 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 5 cups cauliflower florets (one medium head of cauliflower)
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 pound fresh spinach leaves
- 4 tablespoons raw pine nuts divided
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup feta cheese crumbled
- 225g (8 oz) halloumi cheese, sliced
- extra virgin olive oil & fresh dill for garnish
- In a large pot, sauté onion in 3 tbsp of olive oil until fragrant, about 4-5 minutes. Add in scallions, garlic & dill and sauté for a few more minutes.
- Add cauliflower and vegetable stock to the pot, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until tender, about 20 minutes.
- While the soup cooks, toast pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden, stirring often and watching closely for about 5 minutes – reserve for garnish.
- Add a tbsp of olive oil to the same pan that you toasted the pine nuts in and cook the halloumi slices over medium heat until golden and crispy, about 2 minutes per side.
- Add spinach to the pot and cook until just wilted, a minute will do. Pour the soup into a blender along with 1/2 cup of feta, fresh lemon juice and purée until smooth. You may need to do this in two batches if all of the soup does not all fit in your blender. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide soup into four bowls and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, crumbled feta cheese, fried halloumi slices, toasted pine nuts and some fresh dill.
- Prep Time: 0 hours
- Cook Time: 0 hours
- Serving Size: 0
This looks so, so good, and the photos are so beautiful! I bet it’s such a weird feeling packing up to go home, but it means you get to come back for keeps too!
Thank you so much Erin! I really appreciate that :) and yes, you are so right! xxx
The photos, ah the photos. Only just so very brilliant.
I shall cook the soup in Athens thinking of you.
I hope life brings your way all the very best.
Do come back ~
Awww…thank you Effie! And yes, we will be back, and next time for good! <3
Such a gorgeous photography, as always, Bella!
Thank you SO much Marilena! <3
Wow this soup is BEAUTIFUL! Excited to hear you’re making the move to Greece permanent.
Thank you so much Sonja! Yes, it is exciting – it has been an incredible blessing to be here for 8 months, and although we hate to leave, we know that it means we get to come back for good that much sooner!
This is incredibly gorgeous and brimming with good things – just what I’m looking for in a cold weather soup. Wishing you an easy transition back to the States, and hoping everything goes as planned.
Thank you so very much Elizabeth…it is a huge transition :| I hope you get to try the soup, that crispy halloumi is everything <3
Those fried halloumi croutons thou! xo
I know, right?!?!
This soup looks absolutely amazing! I cannot wait to try it, which will be this weekend (after the Thanksgiving holiday). I work for an attorney of Greek descent and she has already shared some of her favorite recipes with me. They are wonderfully flavorful and so comforting. Looking forward to trying this yummy looking soup.
Oh yay! Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! <3
I made this soup last night and found it quite tasty! The lemon-dill-cauliflower flavors were wonderful and paired beautifully with the salty halloumi and crunchy pine nuts. Don’t be fooled by the instagram photo aesthetics here though…with the amount of spinach the recipe calls for it will never be as bright green as the photos suggest. With this in mind and the fact that the soup did not taste very much like spinach I’d rename it to ‘Green lemony dill cauliflower soup’ ;)
Hi Anika…that is interesting, because I measured my spinach and I did not change the color of the green in my photos, so perhaps there was a difference in the vibrance of the spinach each of us used (?) I am happy you enjoyed the soup though and perhaps you could have added more spinach to achieve that beautiful green color and flavor :)
Totally agree with Anika. Had the same experience. Not as green. Great soup though
Good to know! I think it has to do with the quality of the spinach, I made this in Greece and the spinach there is very vibrant!
MANN…you still life’s!!! they’re just somethin else!!
aw shucks…thank you!
the stories they tell are freakin EPIC!!
you’re too kind
your photos are literally AWE inspiring bella, the food literally looks like it’s sitting right in front of your ready to be eaten!!
thank you, that makes me so happy :)
I’m going to make this tonight! Thank you for sharing!! Do you think the recipe MUST have the halloumi cheese or could it not be included and still be as delicious? Thoughts? Thank you!
Hi Laurie! The crispy halloumi is definitely a big part of the experience! But the soup will still taste delicious without it – you may just want to use more feta cheese if you skip the halloumi!
Super delicious and easy to veganize. I used Violife feta. I missed the note about using crispy tofu in place of halloumi but I’ll definitely try that next time! I also used an immersion blender for ease. Fab recipe; highly recommend!
I love that you found this recipe super easy to vegan-ize! Violife feta is truly the best! Thank you for taking the time to comment, it means a lot :)