Spinach Soup I

The inclusion of nutmeg and lemon juice in Spinach Soup I particularly complements the flavour of the spinach. Serve this delicate soup as a first course with Garlic Bread. The creamy texture of the soup is difficult to achieve without a blender.

1 oz. butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons flour

2 pints chicken stock

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2- teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

2 tablespoons lemon juice

½ lb. spinach, trimmed, washed and coarsely chopped

3 fl. oz. double cream , stiffly whipped

6 lean bacon slices, rinds removed, cooked until crisp and coarsely chopped

In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until it is soft and translucent but not brown.

Remove the pan from the heat. With a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Gradually stir in the chicken stock, being careful to avoid lumps. Stir in the salt, pepper, paprika, nutmeg, lemon juice and spinach.

Return the pan to the heat and bring the soup to the boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer the soup for 20 to 25 minutes or until the spinach is very tender.

Remove the pan from the heat. Ladle the soup into an electric blender, a little at a time, and blend until the soup is smooth and creamy.

Return the blended soup to the sauce-pan. Return the pan to moderate heat and, stirring occasionally, bring the soup to the boil. Taste the soup and add more seasoning if necessary.

Remove the pan from the heat and spoon the soup into individual serving bowls. Add a tablespoon of double cream to each bowl, sprinkle the bacon evenly among the bowls and serve.

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