Spinach and Almond Soup

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One of the healthiest, lightest, loveliest and easy-to-make soups you can have in your cooking repertoire.
Serves 4
150g baby spinach, washed
120ml milk
120ml single or double cream
50g ground almonds
Grated zest of half a lemon
300ml vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (or white pepper)
1. Place all the ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the spinach is very soft, keeping an eye on the saucepan so the liquid doesn’t boil over – if it threatens to, turn the heat to low. When the spinach is very soft, leave the soup to cool a little and blend carefully until you have a smooth soup with no shreds of spinach in it. Check the seasoning and add more salt if needed and a little ground black or white pepper to taste.
Recipe Variations
– You can use a mixture of spinach and watercress for this recipe, or use all watercress. If you can only find a mixed bag of spinach, watercress and rocket in the supermarket, that will work well too.
– We don’t use onion in this recipe, but if you want to give it a deeper flavour, you could start this soup by frying half an onion (or a clove of garlic) with half a finely chopped stick of celery in butter until soft, then add the other ingredients and proceed with the recipe.
– If you blend the warm soup just before serving, you’ll get a froth on top that makes it seem ethereally light. Serve it in demitasse/espresso cups.
 – If you have white peppercorns at home, grind them finely and use a pinch to season the soup instead of the more robust black peppercorns. White pepper has a delicate flavour and colour and you won’t see specks of pepper in the finished dish.
Photograph copyright foodpixies.com
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