Recipe first published on January 18th, 2010. Last updated on October 22nd, 2015.
Nearly six years ago I wrote this post and since then, it’s been one of my most popular post thanks to people searching for “Landmark Spinach Bisque.” I feel like it’s only right that I’m giving this post new life as I sit in Galesburg, showing Mack my old stomping ground (and visiting nearly all the family). It’s going to be a long shot but if you’re ever traveled through Galesburg, Illinois- you might have stopped at the Landmark. It’s one of the few staple restaurants Galesburg has and if my instagram feed is any indication, a place I go every time I’m home. The food is great and the atmosphere makes you feel like you’re not in some small town in the middle of Illinois.
Variations for the Spinach Bisque
When I first made this bisque, I tried to mimic the bisque from the Landmark but what came out of the recipe was a bisque that was nothing like it but still delicious. If you landed here in hopes of recreating the spinach bisque from the Landmark, there’s some good clues in the comments below to get your started. If you’re looking for a creamy/cheesy spinach bisque, this recipe is a good a start.
Cheese: I prefer a good sharp cheddar but any quality, good melting cheese will work. I’ve also been known to toss in a bit of fontina, smoked gouda, or mix (with a bit of shredded asiago thrown in as well).
Milk: When I first started making this recipe, I used half and half. I’ve since then changed to whole milk but if you’re looking for an extra rich treat, use the half and half- you won’t be disappointed (but it’s rich, that’s my warning).
The spinach: I prefer this soup with fresh spinach but in a pinch, you can use frozen. Just make sure to thaw and drain it well before adding it to the soup.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1½ to 2 cups whole milk
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
- 4 ounces fresh baby spinach, shredded
- ½ cup croutons, to garnish
- Heat a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and butter, letting the butter melt. Stir in the shallot; cook until translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute more.
- Measure in the flour; stir, and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the broth, 1½ cups milk, cream cheese, salt and pepper; cook, continuing to whisk, until it begins to thicken but does not boil. Remove from heat, then add cheddar. Whisk until soup is smooth. If the base seems too thick, add a splash or two more milk.
- Add the spinach, then let sit for 5 minutes before serving, just until the spinach has wilted. Serve soup topped with croutons or a few extra sprinkles of cheese, if desired.