I have been trying to train our dog Brutus. Trying and, mostly, failing. Not only is he a headstrong hound, notoriously hard to train, he also only came into our lives when he was six months old and already set in his ways.
So I have the cards stacked against me in this endeavour but I keep trying. Consistency is, apparently, the secret behind dog training and I have never been good at that.
What does dog training have to do with a soup recipe you ask? Well, nothing, mostly. But one thing that’s interesting to note is the way Brutus makes associations with words, gestures or actions.
If you lift your arm in a certain upwards motion he will sit down, no questions asked. This arm motion is linked to getting a treat – usually cheese. He is bonkers for cheese.
Well this spinach soup also has associations for me and not very pleasant ones. I have been making versions of this recipe for years and I was all set to post it on the blog a couple of years ago.
The camera was mounted on the tripod, the props were in place and then *someone* didn’t realise the blender lid was not securely in place. Yup, I am that someone. The soup was scalding hot, bright green and it went absolutely everywhere.
Every time I make this soup since that fateful day, I am extra careful when blending and serving. And it has taken me this long to photograph it again – I was really scarred by the cleaning up process. But don’t let my associations put you off – this is such a delicious soup and you can spice it in different ways.
Go for lime, lemongrass and chilli for an Asian version, or warming Indian spices like I have done here. If you add the spinach towards the end of cooking you will end up with a really vibrant colour and fresher taste.
A big thank you to Tefal for sending me a set of their Ingenio induction pots. These are by far my favourite pots thanks their clever stacking system – space is a real issue when you have as many props as I do! More detailed review here.
- 1-2 tbsp coconut oil or vegetable oil
- 1 tsp mild curry powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 large leek topped and tailed, finely diced
- 1 medium potato such as Maris piper, peeled and cubed
- 1 large courgette zucchini, cubed
- 1 green chilli deseeded and finely diced
- 240 ml | 1 cup hot vegetable stock I used a Kallo cube
- 1 x 400g | 14oz can light coconut milk
- 100-200 g | 3.5-7oz fresh spinach
- salt and pepper to season
- 4 slices stale ciabatta cubed
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic granules
- 1/2 tsp dried herbs I used Herbs de Provence
- handful crisp spinach leaves to garnish
- Toss the bread cubes in the garlic granules and herbs. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan and then fry the bread cubes, stirring often, until crunchy and a little coloured. Set aside.
- Heat the coconut oil in large pot. Add the spices and stir for a minute.
- Add the leek, potato, courgette and chilli and stir to coat in the spices. Season well with salt and pepper, cover the pot and sweat the vegetables over low heat for five minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock and coconut milk and cook for another 10 minutes or until the potato is fork tender.
- Add the spinach and stir. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Carefully transfer the soup to a blender, make sure the lid is secure and blend until completely smooth. You may need to do this in batches.
- Serve the soup topped with the croutons and a handful crisp spinach leaves.
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