For us half term is almost over. There have been sleepovers at Nanny and Baa Baa’s, Lego bought, tantrums had and of course, pizza eaten. And so I find myself craving on behalf of my kids, green and good things.
Now spinach is a hard sell to some adults, so trying to shoe horn it into small folks can be a challenge. My default spinach ‘recipe’ is to wilt, squeeze of water and pan fry with double cream, salt, pepper and ground nutmeg. (This was a side dish I inhaled at The Groucho back in my advertising days when lunches were long and ahem, boozy). But you just can’t consume cream every day. Whilst it’s good for the skin, it’s not so good on the waist line. Instead I give you a spinach soup recipe courtesy of one of my blog readers, Sharon ‘Shaz’ Taylor.
She sent me this recipe for spinach soup well over a year ago. I made it immediately and photographed it and then waited until the time felt right. And today it does. Here’s what she says (and yes I have meddled and made this soup fit to our family, as I suggest you do too – just add whatever green stuff you have):
“Basic recipe was a store cupboard/fridge raid, it was potato, spinach, bag of mixed lettuce (had the rocket in it) onion, garlic, marigold veg stock, milk and a grate of nutmeg, sweat the pot and onion add enough stock to cover the pot and onion, add the garlic whole and cook until the pot is soft, add the greens and grate of nutmeg (sometimes I’d add peas, but daughter doesn’t like them) when just wilted blitz (inc peas) with a stick blender thinning down with the milk, you want it to keep its vibrant green colour. I sometimes get some sliced bread and cut into star shapes and bake in oven until crisp (croutons) if I’ve got cream I will do a fine swirl with it, or add the peas and pop on the croutons, but I’m sure you can do your magic.”
So a big thank you to Shaz as this is now a favourite in our house. And also, do remember to call this Space Soup. The space reference comes from the rocket, which I have not added to my recipe. It matters not. Beware though, if you don’t call it space soup then it’s quite likely those under 12 won’t eat it. Smoke and mirrors folks, smoke and mirrors.
Lots of great recipes like this in my books, Recipes from a Normal Mum, (available on Amazon, at The Works, Waterstones, WHSmith, The Book Depository and many smaller outlets) and The Power of Frozen (available through Amazon).
This time last year: Microwave chocolate pudding, Gluten free chocolate coconut cake, Beetroot rolls, Chocolate heart cupcakes, Bramley apple and cinnamon crepe cake, Ikea style meatballs and pancakes.
Two years ago: Rye, spelt & poppy seed rolls, Never fail pancakes, Fluffy sweet potato pancakes, Mars Bar brownies and I wrote a letter to my 15 year old self with all the things I’d wish I’d known over 20 years ago.
Three years ago: Chocolate and banana flower shaped cupcakes, Subtle coconut rolls, Easy chocolate cupcakes and Chocolate orange tea buns and Almond and fig granola.
Four years ago: Love cupcakes and White chocolate, lemon and macadamia cake and Roasted celeriac, carrot and parsnip soup and My lightest Yorkshire puddings.
Five years ago: Bake me not chocolate cake and Jelly and ice-cream meringue roulade and Good flapjack and Banana, butterscotch and fig traybake.
Six years ago: Treasure hunt ice-cream and Rhubarb and ginger chutney and Carrot cake.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 stick celery, roughly chopped
- 90g fresh/frozen spinach or rocket
- 1 leek (about 300g), topped and tailed and roughly chopped
- 1.4 litres veg stock (made with a stock cube)
- 55g fresh coriander
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 10g fresh ginger
- Salt and pepper
Heat the oil (in a large saucepan or the Pressure King Pro) and fry the carrots and celery for 5 minutes. Add the spinach, leeks and stock and simmer for 40 minutes on the stove until soft or use the 'soup' setting in the Pressure King Pro. Remove from the heat and add the rest of the ingredients before blending and serving with star shaped croutons.
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