I have a bunch of plain speaking friends (and family, they aren’t getting away with it here!). At this point, I think the universe has put them in my world to neutralise my pathological fear of confrontation, lol. The plain speakers in my world have been vocal about how “healthy” this soup looks and I am pretty certain they mean how unappealing the colour is! Hopefully, there is one other brave person out there who will give this simple little Instant Pot Spinach and Parsnip Soup a try!
Let’s see if I can talk you into trying it.
Some recipes have a full page of ingredients. Curry, I am thinking of you. Layer, upon layer of flavour, you become a slave to such recipes and can kiss goodbye to your Saturday getting through the prep they demand.
Others, like this soup, look so simple as to be suspicious.
It’s not to say complex recipes are in anyway a bad thing, au contraire, it’s just that, well, life. Life happens. We get busy, other priorities take over other than cooking for the sheer pleasure of inhabiting your kitchen for a full day.
That’s when you need nutritious and delicious meals to satisfy your inner food-lover and outer exhaustipated* 21st century adult self! Things that will keep you healthy and firing on all four cylinders and able to face the demands of our daily lives.
*= too tired to give a crap
We start this soup by sautéing the parsnips. Do not skip this step, it is really important to get the most out of one of the two star ingredients. This helps bring out the sweet spiciness of this pale and humble root veg. A couple of crushed cloves of garlic get the same treatment and dutifully give up some sweet stickiness to the soup.
As for the second co-star, the spinach, you are going to bring out it’s flavour by the genius addition of garam masala. The classic cooks amongst us will know that nutmeg makes spinach sing and as nutmeg is often found in garam masala (Indian mixed spice) along with other fragrant additions like black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and cumin, it really does a marvellous job in this soup.
If you have tried my soup recipes before you will know that I like mine to be so thick that they should probably be re-classified at vegetable purées! My rationale is if I am only having a liquid dinner, I want it as filling as can be. The parsnips bring the most unctuous, silky smooth texture that I am more than happy to have this soup for lunch and nothing else (bar some fruit).
For those of you who like their soups runny, then by all means add more stock when you blend it up. However much stock you use, make sure it is a good and tasty one. I turn to my ever trustworthy Kallo stock cubes as they are plenty strong enough but not so salty I need a pint of water with my meal! Use vegetable, chicken, even ham stock if you prefer.
This recipe is a little gem I came across in Nigella’s book Simply Nigella.
I was intrigued by it and tempted as a few of her other soup recipes are equally simple but very flavourful. However, I make mine differently to the Domestic Goddess herself, as I find you have to sauté the parsnips to get the best from the soup – Nigella simply boils everything together and blitzes to finish. As the Instant Pot cooks it in 5 minutes, my way is faster plus I think it keeps the vibrancy of the spinach as there is no evaporation until you open the vent.
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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
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