Excerpted with permission from Farmer John’s Cookbook: the Real Dirt On Vegetables: Seasonal Recipes and Stories from a Community Farm by Farmer John Peterson and Angelic Organics (Gibbs Smith, Publisher). www.AngelicOrganics.com/cookbook

Here’s a spectacularly fresh perspective on what it takes to make a cream of spinach soup. First, skip the cream. Next, refrain for boiling the spinach and potatoes-and refuse to fry any onions. Then get two lovely crisp apples out of the refrigerator. Set one on the counter next to an avocado, and take the other with you to munch on while you enjoy a little more of your summer’s day-perhaps outside on a bench, on a swing, up a tree… You’ve got lots of time. This sumptuously creamy, savory-sweet, and super-fresh raw-ingredients soup won’t take more than a moment to prepare.

Serves 2

2 tablespoons chopped or slivered almonds or other nuts
1 apple, peeled, cored, cut into chunks
1 cup water
2 cups coarsely chopped spinach (¾ pound)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, plus 2 small sprigs for garnish
1 ripe avocado, peel and pit removed, quartered freshly squeezed juice of ½
1 tablespoon almond oil or olive oil
½ teaspoon salt

  1. Toast the almonds in a heavy, dry skillet (cast iron) over medium high heat, stirring constantly, until they are lightly browned and begin to smell toasty. (Be careful not to over toast them, as they will burn very quickly once they are toasted.) Transfer nuts to a dish to cool.
  2. Put the apple chunks and water in a blender and puree. Add the spinach and tarragon; pulse the blender a few times to partially blend in the leaves. Add the avocado pieces, lemon juice, oil, and ½ teaspoon salt. Blend the ingredients until smooth, thinning with more water if necessary (add 1 tablespoon at a time). Add more salt to taste if desired.
  3. Pour the soup into two bowls, top with the toasted almonds, and garnish each with a fresh tarragon sprig.