Today, Chuck, real name Charles Charles G. Hogg of Staten Island, crawled out of his burrow and looked for his shadow. He couldn’t see it, heralding an early spring this year in the East. With an 80% accuracy rate, Chuck is New York’s official prognosticator and his prediction matched that of his rival Punxsutawney Phil of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania who also predicted an early arrival of spring. Punxsutawney Phil, however, is not the most reliable of sources and he has an accuracy rate of only 39%. So, with the ice from Snowstorm Jonas still melting on the sidewalk, I won’t put away my coat and boots just yet. Yet, admidst the presidential primaries and political jostling of this week, I have enjoyed everything about the tradition and folly of a preordained groundhog seeking its own shadow. America does love tradition and a good news story, as do I. Groundhogs forever.
With the threat of spring on the horizon, I’m feeling in the need for a robust green fix. Often, I experience this overwhelming need for an intensely leafy, almost chlorophyll flavour. Usually I take this as my body’s call for fibre, folate, iron or vitamin C. Commonly, it is when I’m feeling run down or poorly.
Today’s soup is super simple, but extremely nourishing. The soup itself is made with just five simple, pantry ingredients. It is leafy, yet lemony and its simplicity does not affect its big flavour. And if you are in the mood to supercharge the dish, top with antioxidant turmeric potatoes like I have here.
Spinach and lemon soup with turmeric potatoes
Use any spinach leaves you have on hand. You could also use silverbeet leaves, kale or even frozen spinach.
Gluten free and vegan
- 1 eschalot, finely diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 450g / 1lb baby spinach or English spinach
- 3 cups liquid vegetable stock
- 1 small lemon, halved
- sea salt and black pepper
- 400g / 14 oz potato, peeled and finely cubed
- 1 tsp turmeric
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
To make the turmeric potatoes, add a drizzle of olive oil to a frypan on medium heat. Add the potato cubes and move around to coat in the oil. Add the turmeric and a big pinch of sea salt and stir together to coat evenly. Fry for 5-6 minutes until the potatoes are tender and slightly crispy.
For the soup, place a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the eschalot and garlic and cook for 2 minutes until softened. Add the spinach to the pan 2-3 handfuls at a time, along with all the broth. As the spinach wilts, add more spinach leaves until they have all been added to the pan. It will seem like a lot of leaves, but it wilts down a lot. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, just until all the spinach has wilted. Turn off the heat and squeeze in the lemon juice.
Using a hand blender or food processor, whizz the soup until smooth. Season with sea salt, black pepper and top with the turmeric potatoes.