6 November 2010

Simple Spinach Soup

~ Menu ~ 

Healthy Spinach Soup 
Polenta Croutons fried in Bacon Fat – so not so healthy 
Red Wine

This is a variation of a basic soup recipe I have been making every since I was a tiny weeny baby chef. I have always called it “Normal Soup”, dunno why. It is a very simple, but delicious in its own right, potato soup and guess what I add to it? ... Whatever I like. It always works and I have made almost every soup you can imagine (not French Onion, tho’) including a very popular West Indian Seafood Chowder (best seller on my menu for 2 years! - recipe on this blog in a few days) with this recipe as a base.

Simple Spinach Soup - for 2

1 medium onion – thinly sliced 
1 tbsp olive oil 
1 small potato vegetable stock 
2 handfuls of fresh, clean baby spinach leaves

~ Heat the olive oil and toss together with the onions till they are coated. 
~ Turn down the heat, cover the onions completely with a pieces of foil, pressing down onto the surface of the onions. 
~ Put a lid on the pan and cook very gently till they are completely and utterly tender and are starting to caramelise a little. 
~ Peel and slice the potato and add to the onions. 
~ Add enough stock to just cover the potatoes, bring to the boil, turn down the heat, put on the lid, (throw away the piece of foil or recycle it or something) and simmer till the ppotatoes are tender. 
~ Stir in the spinach leaves and as soon as they wilt (possibly a matter of seconds) transfer the lot to a food processor or similar kitchen tool and purée adding more stock (or you could add cream) till it is just how you like it. 
~ Taste and season.

Today I topped my soup, as you can see, with a few croutons made by dicing up a bit of my leftover cold polenta from yesterday and frying them in leftover bacon fat – obviously! 

 In my last post I mentioned a friend in the West Indies giving me a tip to keep polenta smooth. In the British Virgin Islands cornmeal cooked with okra, onions etc. is a national dish but confusingly it is called fungi (pronounced foonjee) which can be tricky for a new chef fresh on in the islands with mushrooms on her mind. Fungi also refers to a style of music native to the Virgin Islands, a sort of skiffly amalgam of African music and European waltzes and quadrilles (would you believe!) It is played on homemade instruments such as gourds and washboards etc. and is excellent. For just a little more confusion and one which caused a great deal of superior laughter in the Virgin Islands; down island they call polenta “coo-coo” which means poo in the BVI ! 

 Talking of the lovely sunny Caribbean here are 3 pics of lovely old autumnal England – the trees are just as they were in reality, not photoshopped or anything - I wouldn't have made them so orange!

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