Monday, January 5, 2015
Cream of Spinach
First things first, wishing you all A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hoping 2015 brings you good news, better days and lots of love and happiness.
The spinach soup was an obvious choice for two reasons. One; MOST of us love spinach since the Popeye Days. Two; the spinach that I used was organic, grown in our vegetable garden.
You can also use cornflour. Add some cornflour to some water first. Form a paste and then add this to the spinach. This too acts as a thickening agent. I still prefer all purpose flour for it enhances the taste.
Now, I am sure that most of you agree with me when I say that bonfire, good company and some extra hot soup makes for a perfect winter night, for the non-drinkers ofcourse! (LOL). The high-spirited people (pun intended) stay loyal to their glass of Old Monk on such occasions.
Just the other day when Delhi winters got a little wet with some drizzle, we had our loved ones over. Instead of serving the premixed soups I tried preparing one at home. Now, I have nothing against premixed soups. They are the saviours when one doesn’t feel like moving a finger. But there is nothing like home cooked goodness. And if sometimes it requires just a TINY bit of effort then needless to say it is worth it. After putting a little bit of thought I zeroed in on Cream of Spinach rather a healthier version of it.
Now while the original recipe uses cream, I used it just for presentation. One has to understand that cooking is all about making a recipe your own. So, while you have come across a wonderful recipe it is not necessary to stick to it. You can always add your own twist to it.
This yummy wholesome soup is extremely simple to prepare, looks great and tastes even better.
INGREDIENTS (Serves 6)
6 cloves of garlic
2 chopped onions
A bunch of spinach (around 25 leaves)
2 tbsp of all-purpose flour
2 tbsp cashew-almond paste
3 cups milk
4 cups water
2 tbsp yellow butter
2 tbsp cream
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Prepare a paste of cashews and almonds by grinding them in a mixer with a spoon of milk.
Put butter in a deep bottom pan. Add garlic cloves to it.
After a minute add chopped onions and sauté till golden brown.
Add spinach leaves and some salt to this and cook for around 5-7 minutes.
Once the spinach leaves become soft and turn slightly dark, take the pan off the flame.
Puree the spinach and add it back to the pan.
Add all purpose flour to this and mix well avoiding lumps.
Add the cashew-almond paste and mix well.
Add milk and water and let the soup come to a boil.
If you want a thicker consistency, keep boiling for a few more minutes.
Add pepper and mix.
Take the pan off the flame and divide the soup into serving bowls.
Sprinkle some pepper and drizzle some cream.
Serve hot with soup balls/bread.
If you have some extra time on hand then instead of adding the all purpose flour, prepare two tbsp white sauce by adding 2 tbsp of butter to a pan followed by all purpose flour and a few spoons of milk. This will also eliminate the “lumps” problem.
I used skimmed milk for a super healthy version. However you can use regular milk and cream for a richer texture and flavour.
If you like you can add oregano and other herbs to your soup. It is all about customisation.