Sunday, July 5, 2009

Spinach and Coconut soup

Chilli, ginger and lemongrass complement the lemonyness of the spinach and add a zingy background to this creamy soup. It is also a classic example of the way i make a soup from three parts, the base the thickening and the main ingredient. If you want to know more it is all explained in my book which is absolutely free and has been downloaded over 2000 times now! (If you would like a copy just follow the links and my ramblings on the right.)

Ok the main ingredient is spinach of course but first construct the base.

- In a saucepan put some olive oil then fry a small onion, a clove of garlic both peeled and sliced.
- Add in a third to a half of a red chilli sliced. How much depends on how hot you like your soup. Less is usually better than more if you are not sure.
- Add a thumb sized piece of ginger sliced and a dessertspoonful of sliced lemongrass. (mine comes ready sliced in a tube).
- Quickly cook all this until the onion goes translucent.

All of this forms the base of the soup - slightly thai influenced in this case.

- Now add in a small potato, peeled and roughly chopped. This will thicken the soup.
- Pour in a pint or so of vegetable stock and leave to simmer until the potato is soft, ten to fifteen minutes I should think.
- Now pop in the main ingredient, spinach. A two or three big handfuls should do it, rinsed under the tap to remove any soil.
- The spinach will cook in a couple of minutes and then blend the whole lot smooth.
- Reheat adding a third of a tin of coconut milk, the juice of half a lime and a little salt if you think it needs it.

I served mine with a few mint leaves sliced up. Coriander or basil would have been good as well.

Coconut milk is a great ingredient to have in your cupboard, I try it with just about everything eventually because it adds a slightly exotic creamyness as well as being dead easy to use - just open the tin and pour it into the soup at the end as you reheat it. Taste as you go and reheat gently because it might curdle, although I have never worried myself because it does not seem to affect the flavour. I buy 14oz cans and freeze what is left over in small amounts say a third of a tin because that is what I usually use for a pint of soup.

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Anonymous said...

When you suggested that coconut milk is something essential to have on hand, my first thought was "but after I make the recipe, what will I do with leftover coconut milk?" Thank you for answering that question as well! Perhaps it will find a home in my pantry now. This soup sounds delicious.

Anyway, I found you on TasteSpotting and am writing to say that if you have any photos that aren’t accepted there, I’d love to publish them. Visit my new site (below), it’s a lot of fun! I hope you will consider it.


Kate said...

This looks yummy!

Jacqueline said...

This is my kind of soup! Lovely :)

Lori said...

This sounds so tasty! I love coconut milk and I'm always looking for new ways to use it. Not to mention that I'm all about soup this winter. :)

Madame sucre said...

Oh I need this pretty much specially during this cold weather !! What is another substitute for spinach ?

Peter said...

A substitute for spinach, hmmmm . . .
chard or silverbeet springs to mind (if you like the taste, I do) or watercress perhaps. But if it is Winter then it is probably a matter of using frozen spinach or finding what is available and going with that, adjusting the recipe to suit . . .


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