Velvety Cornmeal-Spinach Soup

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This is a poor man’s simple recipe, a warm filler for cold winter days in Friuli. I use spinach, but any available green vegetable would have been used, and would be good. Cornmeal lovers will appreciate this; it has all the comforts of porridge, filled with the flavors of Friuli.




Total Timeunder 1 hour

One Pot MealYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free

Mealdinner, lunch


Taste and Texturecreamy

Type of Dishhot soup


  • 4 ounces (about ¾ cup) yellow polenta
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups hot poultry or vegetable broth
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Coarse sea salt or kosher salt to taste
  • About ½ pound young spinach leaves, rinsed
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • A heavy-bottomed 6-quart saucepan, 10 inches or wider


Whisk together the polenta and flour in the saucepan, then whisk in about ½ cup of the hot broth, to make a smooth, loose batter. Continue adding the rest of the broth, and bring to a moderate boil, whisking constantly.

Drop the garlic cloves and the butter into the pan, and salt lightly. Cook the soup at a bubbling simmer for about 25 minutes, whisking and stirring frequently, until the polenta has cooked and thickened. Stir in the spinach leaves, and cook 10 minutes more.

Remove from the heat, and season with more salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Rest for 5 minutes, then serve hot, removing the garlic cloves if you like.



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A friend of mine bought Lidia's Italy cook book, and as she and I went thru the book, looking for things we had to try, we both agreed we needed to try this recipe. Oh my goodness!! This could possibly be the best soup I've ever had. It was like heaven, light and creamy, warm and flavorful, rather like being wrapped in a warm blanket. You MUST give this a try, I doubt you'll be unhappy with it. The one thing that we did find is that if the soup sat for a while, it got thicker, so you will need to have enough broth to loosen it up again, other then that, its a fabulous dish for the upcoming fall and winter season.


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