This recipe seems like an good sort of place to start. It’s simple, healthy and infinitely variable. Also delicious. The preserved lemon and dill bring summer to the greens, like sunshine warming grass.
It has depth of flavour but the yoghurt and sumac keep it light and elegant. I like it as a simple lunch (with plenty left over to freeze for another day) but it would make a smart starter too.
Green Summer Soup With Preserved Lemon And Dill (serves 4)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- approx 200g spinach (1 bunch or small supermarket bag)
- approx 200g kale (1 bunch or small supermarket bag)
- 1 ltr chicken or vegetable stock
- pinch sugar
- 1 preserved lemon
- 2 handfuls of dill fronds
- juice of ½ a lemon
- 4 spring onions
- Greek yoghurt
- Add the oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pan and sweat the onion over a low heat until soft, sweet and translucent. If you’re using bunched spinach or kale chop and sweat the stalks too.
- When everything is tender but not brown add the garlic. When you can smell it - only 20 seconds or so - add the kale, stock and a pinch of sugar.
- Simmer for a few minutes then add the spinach.
- When the spinach is wilted put everything in a blender with the preserved lemon and dill and whizz until silky smooth.
- Return to the pan, bring back to a simmer and season to taste with salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice. Don’t overdo the lemon. A squeeze should be enough to make it sing.
- Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt, very thinly sliced spring onions and a sprinkle of sumac.
If And Ands
- I like the mixture of the two greens as it’s a bit lighter than kale on it’s own but avoids that over-irony flavour you sometimes get with spinach. Use just one if you prefer though. Or add any other greens that happened to be around. Leeks, courgettes or peas would all be nice. And wild garlic is season right now and would be delicious.
- For a more substantial and creamy soup add a tin of cannellini or other white beans before blending.
- Instead of yoghurt, serve with crumbled feta cheese on top.