Add this soup to your ‘Comfort Food’ file. It’s quick and made with ingredients one usually has on hand–garlic, cornmeal, cheese. You can add any number of ingredients or keep it simple, as in this recipe. If you use a hardier green, then you would want to add it once the cornmeal is incorporated. I like put a poached or fried egg in the bottom of the soup bowl before adding the soup, but it’s excellent on its own.

6 T vegetable oil or butter, or a combination; or use less, if you prefer
3 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
6 c water, broth, or stock
1/2 c cornmeal
1/2 c Parmesan or Romano cheese, finely grated; or other good melting cheese, plus extra if you like
4 – 5 c spinach or other greens, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
lemon juice, for serving

1. Heat 2 T of the oil in a soup pot. Add garlic and sauté for one minute.

2. Add the water and bring to the boil. In a steady stream and whisking constantly, add the cornmeal in a steady stream. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until soup has thickened somewhat, about 10 minutes, maybe a bit less.

3. Add cheese and the remaining 4 T of oil. Cook, stirring, for another minute, until oil is incorporated. Stir in spinach, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring, for another minute or two, until the spinach has wilted.

4. Serve soup, with a dash of lemon juice and more cheese, if you like.