Friday, February 24, 2006

Soup in the snow!

Thurs 23 Feb 2006

Since I am in the throes of house moving I am busy trying to use up lots of things which is how I arrived at last night’s excellent (if I say so myself!) dinner. I had spinach left over from last week’s chicken gratin and a bulb of fennel floating around as well as potatoes and onions to use up. It was also snowing so the obvious thing to make was soup

Heat some olive oil in a pan and add one finely sliced onion and a few cloves of garlic to taste (I used 2). After a bit add a finely sliced bulb of fennel and let it all cook for a bit before adding about 100g of spinach leaves. Once the spinach has wilted (you may need to add a little water) add three small peeled chopped potatoes and some vegetable stock.

Bring this all to the boil then reduce to a simmer and leave it while the potatoes cook. Whizzy up with your stab mixer and season with some pepper. Serve with a spoonful of plain yogurt.

This tasted fantastic and the colour is quite amazing. Although it did prompt the question at work this morning about who had the pond scum in the fridge!!!!!!

The sheer simplicity of this really makes me wonder why there is any market at all for tinned (or any other type of ready made) soups. OK – I used a stock cube but there are plenty of fresh stocks available now and even most stock cubes are quite good – but the whole thing took me probably about half an hour. I knew exactly what was in it (stock cube excepted) and something which cost next to nothing to put together will do me for two dinners and a lunch. I am a HUGE fan of soups (something that will probably become quite apparent!) – you can be totally creative, they take hardly any time, cost naff all and are (in the main) really healthy! What is there not to like?

When I am next trying to use up some spinach and fennel I think a good alternative would be to add some pearl barley and not bother whizzing it up. I had torn the spinach leaves as I added them but if you were really keen you could shred them and it would look quite pretty with the little bits of fennel, onion, strips of spinach and the pearl barley. Mmmm … or you could add some soup pasta … and I’m a bit irritated I thought of that just now as I do actually have some to use up!

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