This soup used to be one of my mum’s go-to recipes when my brother and I were still in school. It originates from a mysterious recipe card from the 80s (?), that my mum used to collect, with a rather appalling colour palette ranging from tints of fading green to mustard and brown. I guess we have moved on when it comes to food styling and design.
The thing is we just can’t figure out whom the credits for this recipe should go to. Because… despite the really unattractive recipe card, this soup used to be a favourite for a good reason. It’s hearty, flavoursome and comes with a big batch of vegetables. The original recipe stars a combination of beef stock, lots of cream, egg and potatoes, though, and I couldn’t help playing around with the soup in an attempt to transform it into something healthier without losing the essential idea of the soup. Therefore, now there’s a majority of sweet potato next to normal potato, there is much less cream involved (and preferably non-dairy cream), the egg had to leave as well and the beef stock has been replaced by vegetable stock (even though I acknowledge that home-made beef stock is a very nutritious thing, so in the quite unlikely event of having it on hand, please go ahead and use it). As most of you won’t be able to compare the before and after version (chances are high you’re not in the possession of this thirty+ year old recipe card, aren’t they?), you just have to trust me that I am happy with the result. Now objection could only come from my mum. 🙂
The soup really doesn’t require a lot of time and effort, so you can easily prepare it on a weeknight. As most soups and stews it tastes even better, reheated, after a day.
Curried Spinach and Sweet Potato Soup
Adapted from an old recipe card without source
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 stalk leek, cut into fine rings
300g (about 3-4 big hands) wild spinach, washed and roughly chopped (alternatively frozen spinach leaves)
1 firm potato, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
1l good-quality vegetable stock
100ml non-dairy cream or normal single cream
3 teaspoons dry Vermouth (such as Martini) or dry white wine
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
1 pinch of cayenne
a few gratings of fresh nutmeg (or 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
good squeeze of fresh lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat and sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add the leek and continue frying for another 3-4 minutes. Turn down the heat and add spinach, potatoes and vegetable stock. Stir, cover with a lid and let simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.
Turn off heat and stir in cream, Vermouth, curry powder, cayenne, nutmeg, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste and leave for 5 minutes to rest.
Divide over bowls and serve with crunchy whole-grain bread.