Creamy Spinach Soup with Toasted Almonds

20151112_174135-2Coming into summer (although is it, really?) isn’t the most obvious time for soup, but there are still plenty of colder evenings. Last night = FREEZING. Or if you have an office as cold as mine, every lunchtime is soup-appropriate. I’m always in the market for a new blended soup – this one is really quick and easy, it makes loads, and it’s delicious. And with all that spinach, it must be really high up on the healthy nutrients scale. It’s also very green – so a little bit unusual for soup, which is fun. Of course my nieces won’t even taste it, but they have a deep-seated suspicion of new or different foods, so it’s not the soup’s fault. A very tasty way to have an amazing amount of veggies.

Creamy Spinach Soup with Toasted Almonds

900g English spinach
400g zucchini
5 cloves fresh garlic
2 large onions
3 tblsp butter
60ml flour
1 litre chicken stock
juice of half a lemon
3 tblsp dark brown sugar
250ml cream
*makes 3 litres

Chop the onions, garlic and zucchini (I chop them roughly into large chunks by hand and then blitz them all together in the food processor), then heat the butter in a VERY large pot on the stove. The largest pot you have. Once it’s foaming, add the chopped vegetables and cook for 10min on a medium heat until softened, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle the flour over the cooked vegetables and mix it through. Add the hot stock slowly, stirring well to avoid flour lumps. Bring the soup base to a simmer, and add the spinach one bag at a time. Stir each batch of spinach until it wilts into the liquid, then add the next. Repeat until all the spinach has been added, then simmer gently for 5min. Add the lemon juice and remove from the heat. Use a hand/immersion blender to blend the soup until it’s completely smooth. Be careful – it will try to splatter while you’re blending. Wear an apron and/or don’t stick your face too close! (A good lesson for life in general).

Stir through the sugar and check the seasoning. Add salt & pepper if desired. Stir through the cream (YUM) and bring to a gentle boil. Serve garnished with slivered almonds and paired with crusty bread or Gruyere shortbread. Freeze the remaining soup in airtight containers.

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