Spinach and Potato Soup, 2 versions

Spinach and Potato Soup

Going to add an update here: As I made this Spinach and Potato Soup again recently, but didn’t want to buy all of the ingredients, I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of texture and taste. Because of that I’m going to add the easier, and quicker, version at end of post.

As soups go this might not seem very wintry. However, one of the main reasons for including it this season is simply that I never seem to drink enough still water during winter months. During summer months I drink about 1½ litres per day. In winter that drops fairly drastically to around 500ml. Soups, then, is one of the best ways of replenishing my body with much needed water. Besides, it’s quite often a great way of using up vegetables.

Here, it’s a case of beefing-up vegetable stock cubes with carrots, celery and onion. This will give you a far more rounded soup, with lots of differing and subtle flavours. It’ll also give you more nutrients: for me carrots are not my favourite veg so this is a fabulous way of gaining their valuable vitamins and nutrients. And I always try to include them within soups and stocks.

For those of you that don’t want to spend ages in the kitchen picking over spinach leaves and nipping out some of their stems then I’d suggest you cheat and buy already washed. You could also cut out the beefed-up stock and simply use vegetable or chicken stock cubes without the necessity of prepping other veg. The taste will, of course, reflect this.

Going to update this and add the following: when liquidising the soup I blend for a count of five (not 5 seconds) and the texture is perfect, regardless of small lumps of soft potato. Blitz for any longer and it will start to look a tad slimy. Still tastes as good but, for me the texture is slightly off-putting. It will also look a very intense green, almost lurid!

As this is an incredibly easy soup to make it’s ideal for proffering guests at a party, especially if you’re serving mostly hors d’oeuvres. Why? Hand them out freshly ladled soup in small disposable cups, that are so readily available in supermarkets, as they arrive and help to line their stomachs with something healthy. Rather than your guests snacking on all of those hideously salty snacks that hosts think are de rigueur – so not! Besides, those salty snacks can only mean one thing…you’re guests are going to guzzle more of your booze and end up *pi$$ed* even quicker than usual. A canapé, served along with this soup, of tiny slices of Parma ham, cream cheese and black olives would be great.

When I say 2 – 4 portions, below, this should be enough for 4. Except that this soup only lasts me 2 sups. No, I’m not a glutton. I just happen to love soup. Besides, all that water and nourishment is perfect for my complexion – that’s far from perfect.

Spinach and Potato Soup - 1st version

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 x medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 x medium onion, halved, peeled, top & root ends sliced off and discarded. Then sliced into 4 or 6 chunks
  • 2 x celery stalks, washed, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • up to 1½ x organic vegetable stock cubes (start off with less, allow to dissolve, taste and add more to personal taste)
  • up to 700ml (1.47 pt US Liq) x cold water
  • 2 – 3 x medium garlic cloves, peeled (root end cut off and discarded) and kept whole
  • 2 x dried bay leaves, split
  • 1/4 x teaspoon cayenne pepper OR 1/4 x teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 300g (10.58 oz) x white potatoes, peeled and roughly cubed
  • 200g (7.05 oz) x spinach leaves, thoroughly washed & stems trimmed
  • single cream, to serve – optional

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Prep the spinach by initially soaking in lots of cold water.
  • Prep the carrots, onion and celery stalks and add them to a large saucepan. Pour in the water, add the stock cubes and bay leaves. Sprinkle over the red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil on electric heat No 4 (out of 6), then reduce heat to No 2 and simmer for about 25 – 30 minutes, with a lid on saucepan.
  • Pick over the spinach leaves, nipping each stalk a little to trim. Discard any damaged or wilted leaves.
  • When the stock has poached take off heat and strain, into a suitable bowl, using a metal colander. Find and keep the garlic and bay leaves. Return these and the stock to the same saucepan.
  • Prep the potatoes, keeping the cubes fairly small. The smaller they are the quicker the soup will cook. As you prep them place them into the stock and up the heat again to No 4. Once all potatoes are added bring to a boil, then reduce the heat again to No 2 and simmer until cooked, with a lid on. This will take about 10 – 15 minutes, according to the type of potato used and how big the cubes are. Once cooked take off heat.
  • Remove bay leaves and discard!
  • Add the spinach and bring back to near boiling point. This will make sure the spinach leaves are absolutely OK to eat. Take off heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • When cool enough pour into a liquidizer and blitz until smooth. Mine only takes up to a count of five (not even 5 seconds) to get a smooth texture. Any longer and the soup can look a tad slimy, even though it will still taste the same.

.

Spinach and Potato Soup - EASIER VERSION

INGREDIENTS:

  • olive oil
  • 1 x medium onion, peeped and chopped
  • 2 x medium garlic cloves, peeped and chopped
  • 1/4 x teaspoon cayenne pepper OR 1/4 x teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 250g (8.81 oz) x new potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into smaller pieces
  • 1 x chicken stock cube OR 1 x organic vegetable stock cube
  • 500ml (1.05 pt US Liq) x cold water
  • 200g (7.05 oz) x pack of spinach, most stems removed and thoroughly washed
  • single/light cream, to serve

Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pan-fry the onions with the olive oil on heat No 2 for at least 20 minutes, lowering the heat to No 1 if any sign of scorching happens. In the meantime, prep the spinach. When onions are beginning to turn golden add the garlic and stir through occasionally. After about 10 minutes add the cayenne pepper, if using. Pour in the water with the stock cube and bay leaf. Allow the stock cube to dissolve. Prep the potatoes and add them to the stock. Bring that to a boil on heat No 4, reducing heat to No 2, adding a lid, until the potatoes are cooked. Remove the bay leaf. Add the spinach and allow to wilt completely. Allow to cool enough to be able to blitz the soup. With my liquidizer/blender I used No 1 for about a second only. Then, repeated this 2 more times for a slightly chunky version.

All photographs within (Todas las fotografías dentro de) Feed the Piglet:
All rights reserved (© Todos los derechos reservados) – Copyright © Johnny H Hepburn


2 comments

    • Ah, well! I’m going to be on the lookout for spiced recipes next year as I really want to learn how to use spices properly. That may be difficult through food blogs. But, I thought it might be a start. Actually, I really should be looking for more and more vegetarian dishes, too. As that’s how I’m eating right now.

      Like


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