The trick with these green soups is not to add the greens until the last minute, otherwise they will overcook and the soup will lose its fresh taste and bright green colour. For a simple spinach soup, omit the rosemary and add a little freshly grated nutmeg with the seasoning.
Spinach and Rosemary Soup
50g (2oz/1/2 stick) butter
110g (4oz/1 cup) onion, chopped
150g (5oz/1 cup) potatoes, chopped
600ml (1 pint/2 1/2 cups) homemade chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
425-600ml (3/4-1 pint/2 – 2 1/2 cups) creamy milk (1/4 cream and 3/4 milk)
salt and freshly ground pepper
225-350g (8-12oz/3 cups) spinach, destalked and chopped
1 tablespoon (1 American tablespoon + 1 teaspoon) fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons (2 American tablespoons + 2 teaspoons) whipped cream (optional)
sprig of rosemary or rosemary flowers
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. When it foams add the onions and potatoes and turn them until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and sweat on a gentle heat for 10 minutes. Add the boiling stock and milk, bring back to the boil and simmer until the potatoes and onions are fully cooked. Add the spinach and boil with the lid off for about 3-5 minutes, until the spinach is tender. Do not overcook or the soup will lose its fresh green colour. Add the chopped rosemary.
Liquidise and taste. Serve in warm bowls garnished with a blob of whipped cream and a sprig of rosemary. If you have a pretty rosemary bush in bloom, sprinkle a few flowers over the top for extra pzazz.
If you need to reheat a green soup, do so at the last minute. If it sits in a bain-marie or hostess trolley it will loose its lively colour. Use mustard greens or a proportion of mustard greens red Russian kale is also delicious.
Accompaniments: crusty bread or cheddar cheese scones.