Nona's Cream of Spinach Soup

PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES    COOK TIME: 25 MINUTES    SERVES: 6

My mother, affectionately known as ‘Nona’, kindly gave me this wonderfully easy recipe that she often serves at her dinner parties.  It’s a great way to get the children to eat the “yucky green stuff”- I just tell them it is a pea soup and it seems to do the trick! Instead of adding cream, I keep it dairy-free and add a swirl of cashew cream. 

NUTRITIONAL BITES

Spinach is an fantastic source of iron and a rich source of phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that provide antioxidant protection against damage to cell structures. 

INGREDIENTS

1 pound fresh spinach
2 ounces (4 tablespoons) of organic butter or organic coconut oil (not extra virgin coconut oil as this has a much more pronounced coconut flavour!)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
600 ml of stock (chicken is the most tasty)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons of spelt or whole wheat flour (if gluten intolerant, use brown rice flour)
3/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt and freshly grated black pepper

Let's Cook!

  1. Wash and drain the spinach and discard the thick stalks
  2. In a large pan (that has a lid), melt half the butter or coconut oil and sauté the chopped onions, until soft; be careful not to burn them – easily done!
  3. Toss in all the spinach and sauté with butter/oil and onions, mixing well. Add the stock, lemon juice, bay leaf, sea salt and pepper and bring to the boil then simmer for 5- 10 minutes with the lid on- the less you cook the spinach, the more antioxidants are preserved
  4. As soup is simmering, make a ‘roux’ with the flour and remaining butter - melt the butter on low heat in a pan then add the flour a little at a time making sure you stir well to remove any lumps; the roux will start to come away from the edge of the pan which is what you want. Allow the roux to cook for a few minutes
  5. Take out the bay leaf (otherwise it will be crunchy cream of spinach soup) and liquidize – be careful as the soup will be hot. Then take out one tablespoon of stock from the soup and mix it into the roux, repeat this step again (if you just add the roux into the soup it could turn into a giant dough ball!) Once the two tablespoons of roux have been mixed in well and there are no lumps, add this slowly to the soup, stirring well
  6. Bring the soup back to a simmer to 'cook out' the roux
  7. Allow the soup to cool and then liquidize until it is a smooth, velvety bowl of beauty 
  8. Voila – your soup is complete. You can either serve this hot (winter) or cold (on summer evenings, with diced chives or mint on top) Add a  swirl of cashew cream (see my recipe below)  -  it takes the look of the soup to a whole new  beautiful level

***SAVOURY CASHEW CREAM

This is a wonderfully simple replacement for sour cream or mayonnaise. 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup organic raw cashews

Water to cover

¼ teaspoon of Celtic sea salt

1 teaspoon of lemon or lime juice 

LET'S COOK!

  1. Soak the cashews in filtered warm water for about 4 hours (if you soak them overnight for 8/10 they become too mushy)
  2. Drain away the soaking water, then toss the cashews into a blender with ¼ cup of filtered water, sea salt and juice
  3. Blend until smooth and creamy. If the cashew cream is too thick, add more water – 1 teaspoon at a time. You want this cashew cream to be fairly runny so that you can make your signature swirl. Experiment with using a tincture dispenser for creating the swirl - it works really well.