Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cooking Gluten Free for a Family: Spinach & Black Olive Soup

I am a Coeliac mother cooking for a family of mostly-normals, but with three children who are quite green-vegetable-averse (the toddler eats peas, the big kids eat broccoli, but other than that, green vegetable consumption can be a struggle). I'm always looking for recipes that are gluten free (or can be made so), nutritious, tart and salty-tasting, because those are the tastes that most appeal to our family palate - barring a shared dedication to chocolate, we're none of us particularly sweet-toothed.

When I find a recipe that is gluten-free by ingredient, yummy, salty-tasting without being actually very salty, and has a green vegetable base, AND THE FAMILY EATS IT, I quietly high-five myself for weeks.

This spinach & olive soup is one such recipe. Cut from a magazine column years ago and hidden in the back of my recipe file for ages, I unearthed it last year and started making it again. It's really easy, really delicious, and really nutritious. And it's greeeeeeeen!

(It isn't, I'll concede, particularly pretty - it tastes better than it looks by several orders of magnitude :-)

Olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
500g potatoes, peeled & diced
1 litre chicken or veg stock
1 large lemon, juiced
500g English spinach, stems removed, washed & chopped
¼ cup sour cream
1 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
Salt & pepper to taste

Fry the onion & garlic in olive oil on low heat until onion is soft but not changing colour. Then add the stock & potatoes and bring to the boil, simmering it until potatoes are cooked. Remove from heat.

Add the lemon juice, spinach, sour cream & olives. Puree in a blender til smooth (you might have to do it in batches). Season to taste.

To serve, gently reheat. I garnish it with a teaspoon of sour cream and a few chopped olives.

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