Spinach Soup with Mint and Chilli

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This is the kind of healthy soup that makes you feel good about yourself once you have eaten it. 

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bag of baby spinach, washed
1 courgette, roughly chopped
1/2 red or yellow pepper, roughly chopped
2 stems of fresh mint (plus more for garnish)
1 clove garlic
Half teaspoon dried mint
1/2 red chilli with our without seeds (plus more for garnish)
400ml chicken or vegetable stock

To serve:
Sour cream, crème fraîche or yoghurt, fresh mint leaves and sliced red chilli

Instructions
1. Place all the ingredients except the stock in a large saucepan. Cook for five minutes until the spinach wilts, add the stock, bring the mixture to the boil then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the red pepper and courgette are collapsing.

2. Leave the soup to cool a little, whizz in a blender until really smooth adding more water to thin it out to the consistency you like. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche, sour cream or yoghurt; chopped mint leaves and sliced red chilli scattered on top.

Recipe variations
– The soup freezes well.

– Replace the fresh mint in this recipe with 1/4 bunch of fresh basil.

– Use the seeds of one cardamon and half a teaspoon of mixed herbs, Herbes de Provence or dried oregano instead of the dried mint.

– To give this soup a vibrant green colour, blanch the spinach and to the soup when you are blending it. (To blanch spinach, place it in a bowl of boiling water until it wilts, drain and run the spinach under cold water or plunge it into a bowl of iced water. This helps to maintain its colour.)

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Photography copyright foodpixies.com

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