Soup is a fruit from hours of labour. The key to its success is a complex stock base, created by heating a combination of many ingredients together, simmering over a low heat for hours, reducing it to a concentrate and then adding it to a fresh batch of ingredients. This recipe cuts out all of these steps. The simmering process takes up as little as 10 minutes and a pre-made stock is added in the form of a powdered cube. Furthermore, there is only one main ingredient – spinach. Popeye woould drink this any day.
This edition we look to Scandinavia for our spinach treats. A few months ago, I talked to my Swedish friend, Kristina, about our favourite comfort foods. Her pick was a white sauce, spinach and boiled egg soup, which struck me as a pretty vulgar concoction. So I decided to try it and Kristina has kindly shared her family’s unique recipe.
After having tried and tested the recipe, I have now become a spinach soup convert. The flavour becomes more complex as it’s consumed. It is the quickest, most convenient soup that I’ve ever come across which suits itself to the hectic and lengthy exam season. Frozen spinach is cheaper and easier to use than the fresh version, and it lends itself to creating late night meals because you can just take it out of the packet and stick it in a pan with no view of a use by date. Spinach is currently in season and is full of nutrients, including iron which guards against the fatigue induced by an iron-deficient diet. To top it all off, the eggs provide a cheap source of protein, the soup is low in fat and the recipe is suitable for vegetarians. Eat with a wedge of bread and butter and you’re experiencing bliss.
500g frozen spinach
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 l water
2 vegetable stock cubes
5 tbsp full fat milk
1 tsp salt
a dash of pepper
nutmeg and/or parsley (optional)
1. Defrost the spinach in a medium sized pan with some butter.
2. Add the flour, stir to a paste then add water while whisking.
3. Add in the stock cubes and leave to simmer on low heat for 10 minutes, make sure it does not burn.
4. Pour the milk in and add salt, pepper and/or nutmeg and parsley.
5. Boil the eggs for at least 8 mins. Peel them and half.
6. Serve with the eggs on top or as a side dish.
Spinach and Citrus Smoothies
Here is the second of Kristina’s family recipes. This – like last edition’s smoothies – sounds like it shouldn’t work, but this time round, it really does. The fatty acids in the avocado are great for healthy hair and skin, the citrus fruits will provide vitamin C to maintain a healthy immune system and the carbohydrate rich banana will replace lost potassium and energy after an evening out. A great way to fix an unwarranted night out on the tiles. Amidst exams.
100g fresh spinach
2 limes or lemons
fresh mint (optional)
1. Juice and grate the citrus fruits then mix with the spinach.
2. Add the banana, avocado and mint before blending.
3.Refrigerate no longer than two days.