Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Spinach & Coconut Soup

There is a huge crop of spinach in the garden.

Now, I love spinach. Always have done. One of my ultimate comforts dishes is wholemeal toast topped with steamed, chopped spinach and a soft poached egg. Can’t beat it, if you ask me, but the kids are a little more fussy. Neither of them are particularly keen on leafy greens and it’s something of a challenge to me, especially when it grows so well in the garden, to find ways to tempt them. Chopped up in quiche is a good one, and I once discussed this with a community children’s nurse who said she used to mash it into potato and call it mint choc chip mash. Can’t recall what she used for the ‘choc’ part, though.

One real winner though, is soup, and the way I like my spinach soup is with an oriental-ish twist, using a little chilli (for warmth rather than fiery heat) and coconut milk. Blending the lovely green stalks and leaves with these 2 ingredients takes the edge of the ‘spinachy-ness’ – that admittedly metallic tang that you can get with it – and adds real depth and flavour. It is also extremely easy and I love the simplicity of it. It is one of my favourite things to eat when it’s a bit miserable outside.
Yesterday seemed to be a pretty good day for soup – after the heat of the weekend, the weather seemed to be mirroring the collective post-Olympic closing ceremony slump, with persistent drizzle, and I felt like cooking something nourishing – not to mention to use up the spinach.

Spinach & Coconut Soup

1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 large (i.e. mild) red chilli
500g spinach, washed, (If using big leaves with established stalks, separate stalks and leaves, slice stalks into manageable lengths, roughly shred the leaves – you won’t need to do this if you use baby spinach or the smaller leaves you tend to get pre-packed in supermarkets)
400ml tin of light coconut milk
500ml vegetable stock (I use marigold bouillon powder)

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and add the onion and garlic. Fry on a gentle heat for a few minutes till starting to soften. While this is happening, and deseed the chilli if you want to reduce the heat further, and finely chop. When the onion and garlic is softened, add the spinach stalks and chilli, and cook, stirring every so often for 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and stock, bring to the boil, and then add in the spinach leaves. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for a few minutes till the stalks are tender and the leaves have wilted.
Use a stick blender (or whatever you use for such things) to whizz the soup up into a beautiful green concoction.



 
Enjoy!


 I'm linking up to the August No Croutons required challenge - soup or salad using coconut, and hosted by Jac at Tinned Tomatoes 


17 comments:

  1. That soup is such a gorgeous colour and even if I didn't like spinach I'm sure I would cooked with coconut. Luckily, I do like it so I think I'd find this delicious. Spinach and feta filo parcels are another good way to disguise spinach.

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    1. Thanks - I love it when food is colourful!

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    2. p.s. I love spinach & feta parcels/spanakopta type pies etc, but sadly the kids are less keen on spinach in that form :-(

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  2. Oh this looks great. I used to buy a Covent Garden soup called Thai Spinach Soup, I don't think they make it anymore, and I've thought about it lots of times. This looks like it cold be a very good contender.. Nice work RJ!

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    1. Yeah - I think it is quite like that one. The best thing about it is I'm sure you could pimip it up loads too - thin it out, add ginger maybe, but for a quick fix it's bang on. And the kids like it which makes it a winner!

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  3. It really is such a tempting colour when it's all whizzed up - love your oriental twist. Will try it when we're home and in need of warm soup.
    I've managed to get the kids to eat spinach mixed in mince in a cottage pie or lasagne. Well hidden in the brown! :)

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  4. Looks yummy, come and make it for me!

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    Replies
    1. may be I should set up a soup kitchen

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  5. Another fine looking soup! Don't forget to add up any recipes you might have for next months "time-saving" food round up! :)

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  6. Sounds delish! Will have to try it.

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  7. definitely trying this - could I use chard instead? Cheers x

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    1. absolutely - it started as a chard recipe from a Sarah Raven cook book :-)

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  8. Replies
    1. It really is - you can fiddle about with it, too - it's quite forgiving!

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  9. 3 Researches SHOW Why Coconut Oil Kills Belly Fat.

    This means that you actually burn fat by eating coconut fats (including coconut milk, coconut cream and coconut oil).

    These 3 studies from big medicinal magazines are sure to turn the conventional nutrition world around!

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