Creamy Spinach Soup

There are quite a few people feeling run down and under the weather with various illnesses at present.  So with that in mind, I wanted to post a recipe for a soup that will put some good stuff in your immune system.  You don’t have to include the cream if you don’t want to.

creamy spinach soup

 

Ingredients

20g butter
2 medium onions, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
1.3 litres chicken stock
300g spinach
Nutmeg
Juice of ½ a lemon
4 tbsp single cream

Heat the butter in a large sauce pan over a medium-low heat and add the onions. Cook gently for 8 minutes until onions are soft but not brown. Add the garlic and potato cubes and cook, stirring, for a further  2 minutes.

Add the stock, and gradually bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Add the spinach leaves, and simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Purée the soup with a hand-held blender until smooth. Season with some freshly grated nutmeg.

Then, add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring the soup back to the simmer and then stir in the cream.

Advertisements

Spicy Butternut Squash & Coconut Soup

In the colder months I love to eat a spicy soup.  This one hits the spot quite nicely.  If you want more heat just increase the chilli.

spicy butternut squash soup

 

Ingredients

3 tbsp sunflower oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp of chopped chilli
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1.5kg butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1 inch cubes
400ml tin organic coconut milk
800ml of vegetable stock
Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste

Optional: 1tsp chopped parsley & croutons
Optional: 4 Tbsp Single Cream

Heat the sunflower oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onions, garlic, chilli and ginger for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until they soften. Stir in the turmeric, garam masala, and ground coriander. Gently fry for a minute or so.

Place the butternut squash into the onions along with a large pinch of salt. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly until the squash begins to soften.

Add the coconut milk and the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Cover and boil gently for 20 minutes or until the squash is very soft. Then liquidise the soup.  If the soup feels a bit too thick, just add a splash of boiling water from your kettle, until it is at your desired consistency.

To serve, add the lemon juice and season to taste. If you are not a vegan you can add a swirl of single cream before serving, you can also add some parsley and croutons if you wish.

Tomato & Bean Soup

This is such a lovely hearty soup, that almost verges on being a vegetable stew.  We eat this most weeks throughout the year.  It warms you up in the winter, and is somehow refreshing in the summer months.  You can add some croutons if you like, which gives a lovely crunch.

img_4685

Ingredients

Olive oil, for frying

1 Large onion, chopped

1 Large carrot diced small

2 Sticks celery, diced small

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 Tin of cannellini beans

1 x 400g can of good quality chopped tomatoes

Good pinch of sugar

4 Leaves of Cavolo Nero cut into thick shreds

Good handful of Parmesan Cheese

400ml of Vegetable stock

Pinch of dried chilli flakes

Salt and pepper

Fry off the onion, carrot and celery for 5 minutes gently in a little olive oil.   Then add the garlic cloves, tomatoes and simmer for a further five minutes.  Then add a generous pinch of sugar (this helps to stop the tomatoes tasting too sharp) then add the chilli flakes, cannellini beans, parmesan, cavolo nero, vegetable stock, plus seasoning of salt and pepper. If I have a rind of parmesan then I will add that too, making sure that I remove it before serving.  Gently cook for around 20 minutes or so with a lid, until the carrot is tender.  If you need more stock then just add it.  Taste for seasoning.  Then serve.

 

Tomato Soup

This went down a storm in my cookery demo this morning, and is a favourite soup in our house.  Quick to make and utterly delicious as well as not costing you much, so you cannot go wrong.  Always try to buy premium canned tomatoes where possible.  You can also substitute a couple of items should you wish.

 

IMGP0875

Ingredients

1 Can of tomatoes ( I use a real good quality brand)
Glug of olive oil
1 Onion finely chopped
1 Garlic clove crushed
Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Sugar
400 mls of vegetable or chicken stock
200 mls of milk
Handful of fresh basil leaves
(Optional) Good dollop of creme fraiche or a swirl of cream

In a medium saucepan add the olive oil, onion and garlic and sweat gently until the onions go translucent looking. Add the tomatoes, sugar, stock and pepper then cook gently with a lid on for ten minutes. Then add the milk and basil leaves and continue to simmer for five minutes. Then use a food processor or hand blender and whizz until you have the consistency you like. If too thick for you, just add a little hot water from your kettle to loosen it. You can also put it through a sieve to get an extra silky smooth soup. Eat this as it is, or add some creme fraiche or cream.

Asparagus Soup

Roll on the better weather when we can enjoy this fabulous soup when it comes to asparagus season.  There is nothing like the taste of locally grown asparagus which usually appears from April-June.  Although the fickle British climate means you have to keep your eyes peeled for when it does start to emerge, but for an asparagus lover like me it is well worth the wait.    You can use foreign grown stuff, but I try to avoid it where possible and prefer to wait until it comes into season here and support my local farmers and growers.

 

asparagus soup

 

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
Knob of Butter
450g Asparagus, finely chopped
1 Large onion finely chopped
500ml Chicken stock (Hot)
Salt & Pepper
Some double cream to swirl on top

Optional – Croutons

Heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Then add in the onion and fry for four minutes, until transparent. Take the asparagus and add it into the pan and allow to cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes. Once cooked, take a hand blender and blend until smooth. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper. As a finishing touch add a swirl of cream, or mix it through the whole soup. You can also add some croutons on top when served into a bowl, which adds a nice texture and crunch.