Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Move Over Popeye!


I was buying some milk when I spotted an assistant marking down a bag of spinach with a yellow sticker. My original plan was to use it in a salad, but then I decided to make some soup instead. I thought it would make two portions – but in fact I ended up with three- so Bob and I had some for lunch today, before he departed for his Ministers’ Conference- and I shall take some to school tomorrow to warm up in the staff microwave.

  • 100g bag of leaf spinach
  • 1oz butter [or margarine]
  • 2tsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled, cut into ½” cubes
  • 15floz stock
  • fresh nutmeg
  • 5floz milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 1oz feta cheese cut into small cubes
  1. Melt butter in large pan, then add shallots and potatoes
  2. Stir well, cover pan, and cook gently for 10 minutes
  3. Add stock, bring to simmering point, cook for 10 minutes
  4. Add spinach cover and leave to ‘collapse’ for 3 minutes
  5. Add milk, salt & pepper, and a generous grating of nutmeg
  6. Allow to cool a little, then blend in liquidiser till smooth
  7. Return to pan and reheat gently.
  8. Ladle into bowls and serve with cheese.


The soup was a fabulous green colour, and with the home-made rolls and fresh pears, it made a lovely autumnal lunch.

In dentibus anticis frustrum magnum spiniciae habes*

During the 1930s Popeye, probably the world's most famous consumer of spinach, was indeed credited with a 33% increase in the consumption of spinach in the USA.The mythical strength-giving properties of spinach are, however, mostly credited to a simple mistake concerning the iron content of the vegetable. In 1870, Dr E von Wolf published figures which were accepted until the 1930s, when they were rechecked.

catherine de mediciThis revealed that a decimal point had been placed wrongly and that the real figure was only one tenth of Dr von Wolf's claim! However it’s still full of vitamins, and good for you. Spinach has always been popular - Catherine de Medici,  brought cooks from her native Florence to France after she married the King, in order that she could still eat her favourite spinach dishes – which is why many spinach dishes are still described as 'à la Florentine'.

* a useful Latin phrase, meaning “you have a big piece of spinach in your front teeth”. Actually not that useful, as few folk [apart from Mags] know much Latin anymore.

1 comment:

  1. I love spinach, and your spinach soup recipe looks divine. Thanks for sharing!


    p.s. Our chips are your crisps, as I understand it. Your chips are our fries. What a crazy, mixed-up world!


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