Spinach is super-healthy and nutritious. It’s packed with iron and is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, K and folate. A great source of lutein, it also helps to promote healthy vision. As well as adding it to soups and vegetable dishes or eating it cooked as a side vegetable, you can mix the tender baby leaves with rocket and watercress for use in salads.
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 45 minutes
Per serving: 220 kcal, 19g protein, 25g carbs, 5g fat
- 600ml (1 pint) vegetable stock or LighterLife Savoury Stock
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
- 2 courgettes, thickly sliced
- 1kg (2lb) fresh spinach
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons quark or fromage frais
- snipped chives, to garnish
- Put 2 tablespoons of the stock with the soy sauce in a large heavy-based saucepan and set over a low to medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, until softened and golden brown, taking care that it doesn’t burn.
- Add the remaining stock, along with the potatoes and courgettes. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer gently for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Check the spinach to remove any tough stems. Add the spinach leaves to the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and season to taste with black pepper.
- Purée the soup in batches in a blender or food processor. Return the soup to the saucepan and then heat through gently for 5 minutes.
- Ladle the hot soup into two serving bowls, swirl in some quark or fromage frais and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately.
- To really bring out the flavour of the spinach, add a squeeze of lemon juice to the hot soup before blending.
- If you’re in a hurry, you can buy bags of prepared and washed baby spinach leaves. They will be more expensive but you won’t have to spend time sorting through them and removing the stems.
- Substitute watercress for the spinach – a couple of bunches will be plenty – and enjoy the distinctive, peppery flavour.