• Level
    Easy
  • Serves
    6
  • Time
    10 minutes

Any soup is only as good as the stock used to make it.  Whether you choose to use chicken or vegetable stock in this recipe, it is important to use a good, flavoursome one that will compliment the other ingredients. Best of all, make your own stock – it’s incredibly easy: simply take a mixture of base vegetables – carrot, leek, onion, celery – and sweat them gently and slowly in a little olive oil to release their sugars (and therefore their flavour).  You can add other vegetables such as fennel, mushrooms, or even tomatoes to vary the flavour. Add a bay leaf, 1 tsp of whole peppercorns, and a sprig of thyme; pour over enough cold water to cover the vegetables by 3 inches, bring to the boil, and simmer for 30 minutes.  Drain and use.  To make chicken stock, add chicken bones, wings, off-cuts or carcasses to the pan a few minutes before you add the vegetables, and then follow the same process.

 

For the recipe below, if you can find wild garlic during the spring and early summer months  –  it’s usually very easy to find, just follow your nose when wandering down country lanes or canal towpaths – add a good handful in place of the garlic clove. It adds a wonderful fresh vibrancy to the soup.

  • Method :
    1. Remove the outer few leaves of the kale and discard.  Cut out the thick central stalks from the remaining leaves, roll them, and finely shred.
    2. Heat a little olive oil in a deep pan and add the butter. When it begins to foam slightly, add the onion. Sweat for 2-3 minutes before adding the garlic. Sweat for a further 2 minutes.
    3. Add most of the spinach and kale to the pan, reserving a small amount of each to add at the end - about ⅛. Gently sautée until the spinach and kale begin to cook down, and add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
    4. Transfer the hot mixture to a blender and blend until smooth. Add the reserved raw kale and spinach and blend until smooth and incorporated - adding the raw ingredients gives a brighter, more vibrant colour and fresh taste to the dish.
    5. Transfer back to the pan and season well with salt and pepper. Add a pinch of fresh nutmeg and serve.