Over the years, I have learned to appreciate it in its raw form in salads (for those, baby spinach is usually nicer) or just cooked down a bit with a drizzle of lemon juice to serve with eggs for brunch (and yes, probably a bit of butter in there too).
What I haven't had much of is spinach in soups. I tried it once or twice maybe but never cooked any. I thought I should give it a try, especially since I really wanted a big bowl of soup that would make me feel good after weeks of food indulgence.
This soup has got a whole lot of spinach in it. Let's face it, one bunch of spinach is never enough (hands up who ever cooked a whole bag of spinach and ended up serving a small spoonful of it to their guests after it wilted down to nothingness - I'm certainly top of the list in there!). Spinach can be very strong to the palate with its sharp taste so I cut it down a bit by adding some fresh goats cheese. This made the soup deliciously creamy but still rich with beautiful flavours. A pinch of chopped parsley on top, a drizzle of olive oil and some extra crumbled goats cheese added a bit of texture. I obviously could not resist having my bowl of soup with a piece of freshly baked crusty baguette spread with butter. It was comforting and all I needed before going outside and walk against the cold April winds.
If you feel like having a nice bowl of spinach and goats cheese soup, scroll down past the photos for the recipe.
Ingredients (for 4 people)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 chopped shallots
2 thinly sliced garlic cloves
2 diced potatoes (or one big potato, approximately 300g)
800ml vegetable stock
100g fresh goats cheese (plus extra for crumbling)
optional: chopped flat leaf parsley and extra virgin olive oil
1. Put the butter in a large pot over a medium heat. When melted, add the shallots, sliced garlic and diced potatoes. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil, then reduce to a low heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes (until the potatoes are tender).
2. Add in the spinach one bunch at a time and stir well until it is all incorporated in the soup. Cook for another 5 minutes (until the spinach has wilted down) and take off the heat.
3. Let it cool for 5 minutes then purée the soup with a hand blender (if puréeing in a separate blender, do it one batch at a time depending on its size). Mix in the fresh goats cheese, season with salt and pepper and reheat before serving.
Divide the soup between four bowls and crumble some extra goats cheese on the top (a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of chopped parsley is also quite lovely). Et voilà!