I always find comfort in a big bowl of soup. And one of this character and versatility is exactly what I’m talking about. Its subtle clear flavours and velvety smoothness are always so soothing – and for the amount of effort that goes into it – you’d be surprised. Speaking of which, I loved it cold too, straight out of the refrigerator!
I’m reiterating that you shouldn’t over’wilt’ the spinach lest you lose out on the vibrancy and saturated brightness of the soup. I was describing it to my mom over the phone the other day and described it as “the colour of hulk.” You know you want that.
I added a pinch of cumin, because, well, why not. I really liked the flavour of it delicately coming through and not overpowering the spinach. I usually serve this with a side of toasted garlic bread to dunk into. A few toasted croutons and a better swirl than the one I made would make this a perfect party appetizer too! I’d be a very happy guest if I were served that.
INGREDIENTS: (Serves 2 – 3)
Adapted from the ‘Good Food’ magazine
2 bunches of fresh spinach, approx. 400 grams
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 small cloves of garlic, finely chopped
A small knob of butter
½ cup milk (I used semi-skimmed, but you could go full-fat)
1 cup vegetable stock
A dash of cream for the swirl (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper
Accompaniments : Garlic bread or toasted croutons.
Wilt the spinach in 1 cup of water for about 2-3 minutes, making sure to take it out as soon as it starts to reduce in quantity. Plunge into a bowl of ice-cold water and set aside. (Do not overcook the spinach. As soon as it starts to shrink, remove).
Melt the butter in another pot and sprinkle in the cumin seeds. Toss for a minute for the spice to infuse in the butter. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until they brown slightly. Pour in the vegetable stock and milk, and season well with salt and pepper. Let it simmer for about a minute. Take off the heat and let it cool a little.
Add the wilted spinach to the cooled milk mixture in a blender and purée until smooth (if using a hand blender, add the spinach to the milk and whizz together). Dilute the soup with a little vegetable stock or water if you find it too thick, and simmer for a few minutes until you get the right consistency. Check the seasoning again and adjust.
Ladle into bowls and swirl in the cream. Serve hot/cold straight out of the refrigerator.