The Winter Warmers – Three Perfect Soup Recipes (Part 3) - Very Green Spinach And Pea Soup

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Very Green Spinach And Pea Soup

Very Green Spinach And Pea Soup

Very Green Spinach And Pea Soup

·         Serves 4 as a handsome starter  or hearty lunch

·         Ready in 1hr

Ingredient

·         Splash of olive oil

·         2 celery sticks, halved lengthways then thinly sliced

·         1 leek, halved lengthways then thinly sliced and washed

1 leek, halved lengthways then thinly sliced and washed

1 leek, halved lengthways then thinly sliced and washed

·         3 garlic cloves, chopped small handful of parsley, stalks and leaves chopped small

·         1 lt half-strength veg stock

·         150g frozen peas, defrosted

·         500g spinach, washed (ideally 400g big spinach and 100g baby) good grating of nutmeg salt and pepper

500g spinach

500g spinach

·         Greek yoghurt or crème fraîche, to serve

Crème fraîche

Crème fraîche

Recipe

1.    Heat the olive oil in a wide pan then tip in the celery, leek and garlic. Sweat them over a medium heat, stirring from time to time so that they soften but don’t colour. Add the parsley stalks and stir briefly before pouring on the veg stock and bringing to a simmer. Let it bubble gently for about  10 minutes, then stir in the peas, spinach leaves (keeping back a massive handful of big, or all the baby spinach, if using), nutmeg and some seasoning.

2.    Bring back to a simmer and cook for just enough time to wilt the spinach and warm the peas through – fiveish minutes – then either chuck the reserved spinach into the blender and ladle the hot soup on top, or if using a stick blender directly into the soup, and blitz until totally smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning.  If you want to reheat, do so very gently as a fast boil will give it a grainy look. A blob of dairy rounds it off nicely.

3.    A blended green soup should be a vibrant green, and there are a couple of tricks that will ensure your end product is pulsating with chlorophyll. You may cook all hell out of the vegetable base, but when it comes to the blending, put a big handful of baby spinach in at the last moment, either at the bottom of the blender before you ladle in each batch of the hot soup, or if using a stick blender, just directly into the soup. Whiz until it’s completely disappeared into the soup, i.e. there are no little green flecks.

4.    If you’re making your soup ahead of time, you need to cool it immediately after blending to keep the bright green. Putting it directly into the fridge ain’t on from a food safety perspective (it raises the temperature of the whole fridge), so instead half-fill your sink with very cold water – iced is even better – then float or sit a mixing bowl in it. Pour the soup from the blender directly into the bowl, and stir from  time to time until the soup is  cool. Removing the heat quickly like this keeps your soup good and verdant.

·         Per serving: 116 cals, 6.5g fat

 
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