cream of spinach soup

Lindsey Bareham

There is nothing like a bowl of piping hot soup to assuage an autumnal nip in the air. It came dark and thick, an almost immovable green puree in shallow white bowls one chilly night in the Cantabrian Mountains. I couldn’t wait to make something similar at home, so here’s my version thickened and sweetened with peas and potatoes. Serve it with a separately poached egg for richness and texture; the perfect start to British Food Fortnight; for news and recipes.

serves 4, prep 15 min, cook 15 min

2 vegetable or chicken stock cubes
1 onion
30g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 floury potatoes, approx 300g
100g fresh peas or frozen petits pois
400g young or shredded spinach
150ml thick cream nutmeg

Dissolve the stock cubes in 1 litre boiling water. Halve, peel and finely dice the onion. Melt the butter in the olive oil in a medium, lidded pan over a medium-low heat and stir in the onion with a generous pinch salt. Stir-fry for 2-3 min, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 5 min while you peel, dice and rinse the potatoes. Add half the stock and bring to the boil. Add potatoes and simmer, semi-covered, for 5 min until almost done. Add remaining stock, return to boil and add peas.

Simmer uncovered for 5 min, add spinach, pushing it under the liquid. Once wilted, liquidize in batches, continuing for a couple of minutes to break down the spinach fibres. Return to a clean pan, reheat with most of the cream. Season to taste, adding freshly grated nutmeg if you have it. Serve with a swirl of remaining cream and a soft-poached egg if liked.