It feels like we have skipped autumn and jumped right into winter with all the storms we have been having, its not that its cold but it sure as heck is rainy. I love being back up North but I do miss those cold crisp winter days we used to get in London, Manchester is more mild and soggy, the leaves never quite dry up enough to crunch underfoot but its our city and I love it despite the rain.
We have a large Oak tree and a sycamore at the end of our garden which have been keeping us well stocked in soggy leaves so I have been making leafmold ready for the wonderful garden I will have built by this time next year when it is ready. By making leafmold, all I really mean is squashing up the leaves and packing them into black bin bags with a few air wholes in then piling them up at the bottom of the garden. Absolutely minimal effort for what Monty Don assures me will be the gardener’s equivalent of gold dust.
The wild weather does call for something soothing, warm and dare I say it healthy. So time for some green sludge soup. Spinach is a tricky one I add it to a lot of dishes but mainly ones where I can hide the cooked texture a bit, I love the flavour but I find the texture a little slimey so give me it pureed, give me it hidden into dishes or in a stew but never fried on the side – and only ever chopped up minutely in eggs. Soup therefore is the perfect vessel for this veg in my opinion.
Full of vitamins that boost energy levels it should give you a little boost in these rapidly shortening days.
Green Sludge Soup
- 400g of Spinach
- 2 Potatoes
- 2 Shallots
- 4 cloves of Garlic
- Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp of Vegetable Bouillon Powder
- Salt and Pepper
To serve – and make more elegant, less sludgy
- Crème Fresh
- Poached Egg
Chop the shallots finely and add to a large saucepan with a splash of olive oil, ry until the onions are soft then add the chopped garlic.
Peel and finely dice the two potatoes and add to the pan. Along with the bouillon powder and a litre of boiling water.
Simmer until the potato is cooked through – about 15 mins then add the spinach to the pan – half at a time, it will look like there is no way it is going to al fit in the pan, but trust me it will reduce to almost nothing in the steamy soup. Once all the spinach is added cook for a further 5 mins.
Take off the heat and using a stick blender blend until smooth. Grate in half and nut of nutmeg and a good pinch of salt and pepper, stirring to combine.
To serve mix crème fresh with equal parts of water in order to make a runny cream, drizzle into the bowls of soup, top with a poached egg and another grating of nutmeg and black pepper. Toasted and buttered soldiers are great with it too.