- For the spinach soup
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 100ml/3½fl oz white wine
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- handful fresh parsley, leaves only
- 3 tarragon leaves
- 4 handfuls fresh baby spinach leaves
- 200ml/7fl oz hot vegetable stock
- 200ml/7fl oz double cream
- 50g/1¾oz grated Parmesan
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the Parmesan biscuits
- 85g/3oz plain flour
- 45g/1½oz semolina
- 120g/4¼oz unsalted butter
- 1 free-range egg yolk
- 2-3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan, plus 1 tsp extra for the biscuit topping
- 2-3 tbsp grated mature cheddar
- For the Parmesan crisps
- 50g/1¾oz freshly grated Parmesan
- For the poached eggs
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 free-range eggs
- For the croutons
- 2 medium slices white bread
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
2. For the spinach soup, heat the butter in a non-reactive frying pan over a medium heat until it is foaming. Add the onion and fry for 2-3 minutes, or until softened but not browned.
3. Add the white wine and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the volume of liquid has reduced by half. Add the garlic, parsley, tarragon and half of the spinach and continue to simmer for 4-5 minutes.
4. Add the hot stock, double cream and grated Parmesan and continue to simmer for a further 4-5 minutes.
5. Allow the mixture to cool, then transfer to a food processor and add the remaining spinach. Blend until smooth, then return the blended mixture to the pan and heat through for 1-2 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
6. For the Parmesan biscuits, blend the plain flour, semolina, butter and egg yolk in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Gradually add the grated 2-3 tablespoons of parmesan and mature cheddar, until well combined.
7. Roll out the mixture onto a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 1cm/½in. Using an 8cm/3¼in biscuit cutter, cut out six biscuits from the pastry.
8. Transfer the biscuits to a baking tray and sprinkle over the remaining tablespoon of grated parmesan. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the biscuits are pale golden-brown and the Parmesan has melted and is golden-brown. Set aside on a wire cooling rack.
9. For the Parmesan crisps, sprinkle the grated Parmesan into two small piles on a non-stick baking tray, leaving room in between them for the crisps to spread out. Bake in the oven for 4-5 minutes, or until the Parmesan is crisp and golden-brown. Set aside to cool.
10. For the poached eggs, bring a small, non-reactive pan of water to the boil and add the white wine vinegar. Reduce the heat until the water is simmering, then add the egg and poach for 1-2 minutes (for a runny yolk), or until cooked to your liking. Remove the eggs from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.
11. For the croutons, cut two 6cm/2½in circles from the bread using a biscuit cutter. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the bread discs to the pan and fry for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until toasted and golden-brown on both sides. Rub both sides of the croutons with the garlic clove.
12. To serve, place each poached egg into a soup bowl. Pour over the spinach soup. Place the parmesan crisps onto the rim of the bowl. Place the bowl onto a serving plate and serve the Parmesan biscuits and the croutons alongside.
Spinach soup with Parmesan biscuits and poached eggs
> Preparation time less than 30 mins
> Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour