Spinach and wa­ter­cress soup

The Jewish Chronicle - - LIFE - ANNA DEL CONTE’S

The Ital­ian name for this soup is vel­lu­tata , which means ‘vel­vety’, and this soup is in­deed quite vel­vety and de­li­cious. It is a favourite of mine, de­spite it not be­ing re­ally Ital­ian. The recipe was given to me by a friend, a very good English cook. I like the soup very much be­cause the wa­ter­cress here is not re­ally cooked, just heated through, and thus it keeps its dis­tinc­tive pep­pery flavour. Serves 4

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS:

30g un­salted but­ter

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 x 150g can can­nellini beans

250ml veg­etable stock 1 bunch wa­ter­cress, washed 500g fresh spinach, roots cut off and washed thor­oughly

Salt and freshly ground black pep­per

Sin­gle cream and crushed chilli flakes to serve, op­tional

METHOD:

Heat the but­ter and oil in a large saucepan and add the onion to­gether with a pinch of salt. Gen­tly saute the onion for a few min­utes, stir­ring fre­quently so that it just be­comes soft and slightly coloured, not golden.

Drain and rinse the can­nellini beans and add to the soup to­gether with the stock. Bring to the boil.

Add the wa­ter­cress and spinach to the saucepan and mix well. Do this a lit­tle at a time, all the while stir­ring so that the veg­eta­bles eas­ily fit in the saucepan. As soon as all the veg­eta­bles are in, give the soup a good stir and turn the heat off. The wa­ter­cress and the spinach should just wilt, not cook.

Use a stick blender to blend the soup for a few sec­onds. Add salt and pep­per to taste and then la­dle the soup into in­di­vid­ual soup bowls. Serve as it is – and it is very good – or with a jug of pour­ing cream or, for a de­li­cious kick, with an added pinch of crushed chilli flakes.

Recipes adapted from Veg­eta­bles All’Ital­iana, Pavil­ion

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