We are soup fanatics in our house, any time of the year. I made this soup recently because dear friends of ours were having their first baby at the hospital over the road from us, and ended up staying with us for several days before and after. New mom was very anaemic so I was trying to come up with high-iron meals. After some research I read that spinach and white beans are very high in iron.
Well, typical me, I can’t just make a small batch of soup, I made enough for 20 people, but they ended up taking the rest home. If you’re going to make a little soup, you might as well make a lot. That’s my mantra!
This one I made up out of whatever I had in the fridge and pantry and it ended up being really good, so I made it again today and wrote down what I was doing. There are some rather weird ingredients in it, but it all helps to layer the flavors.
2 tbsp butter and 4 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 x 4oz pack chopped pancetta (you could use 4 rashers (slices) of bacon too)
6 leeks, cleaned and chopped
1 large potato, peeled and cubed small
2 x 15oz cans white kidney or cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
2 x 11oz packs (22 oz) fresh spinach
1 tbsp medium curry powder (If you want a real curried flavor, add 2 tbsp. 1 tbsp just gives it a certain “je ne c’est quoi”)
3/4 tbsp instant chicken Bouillon granules
3 x large (49oz) tins Chicken broth
A little salt and ground black pepper
8 oz cream cheese, at room temp
Get your largest saucepan, preferably a tall stockpot and put in the oil and butter. Heat gently and add the onions, garlic, pancetta, leeks and potato and saute, stirring occasionally.
Add the white beans and curry powder and season with a little salt and pepper.
Add the chicken broth and chicken stock granules and bring to a simmer. Add the spinach and keep pressing it down into the liquid with a wooden spoon until it wilts and shrinks considerably. Stir occasionally and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.
After 30 mins, take the soup of the heat and set aside to cool for an hour or two. this way, when you blend it in the liquidizer, the steam won’t cause it to burst the lid off and cover you and your surroundings with soup!
When cooled a little, start blending it in a blender, add tablespoons of the cream cheese to each batch until you have used it all up. This gives it a really silky, creamy texture. When all is blended, return to the large pan and bring to a simmer and serve
Serve. (You can cool the soup and freeze it in batches at this point)