Nick Malgieri
Nick Malgieri

Spinach and Cheese Soup from Appenzell

This homey soup is typical of Appenzell cooking – vegetables and rice simmered in broth with some spinach added at the end, more as a garnish than anything else.  It’s all brought together with a sprinkling of sharp and nutlike Appenzell cheese – just the thing for a cool fall evening.

Recipe courtesy of Appenzell Tourism

Makes about 6 servings

2 tablespoons canola or other vegetable oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/3 cup long grain rice

6 cups vegetable or chicken broth

2 tablespoons butter

4 slices firm textured bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

8 ounces baby spinach, rinsed and drained

Salt and pepper

4 ounces, about 1 cup, Appenzeller cheese, coarsely grated

  1. Film the bottom of a medium Dutch oven with the oil and add the onion, garlic, and rice.  Cook over medium heat until the onion is wilted and starting to color, about 10 minutes, lowering the heat as necessary of the onion is coloring too fast.
  2. Add the broth, bring to a boil, and simmer gently until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a sauté pan and toss the bread cubes in it; cook, tossing or stirring until the croutons are golden, about 5 minutes.  Pour into a small bowl and reserve.
  4. When you’re ready to serve the soup, return it to a boil and add the spinach.  Simmer for 5 minutes, then taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve in heated soup bowls and garnish with the cheese and croutons.