Spinach Soup for the Pickers and Crushers!

Today we are going to pick and crush the grapes. These are a Vidal Blanc grape on a root stock that will deal with the extended freezing temperatures here in the winter.  I can leave the grapes  on the vine until they are frozen (resulting in a really sticky white dessert wine) however I don’t really have the volume of grapes for that this year.  The longer they hang on the vine the drier they get and this does concentrate the flavours. Then if they get a few good freezes this creates an extra series of taste sensations.  But as you can imagine you will then have way less juice. Less juice means less wine and we all know what less wine means!

So this year we have decided to harvest a little earlier.  Once again we are doing it the old fashioned way. No  meters or gadgets, just observation and taste.  And an old re-jiggered crusher that we found in the basement. The grapes have darkened to a blushy  pink and they taste very sweet, the pips are brown. They are pulling off the stalk very easily. So. Today we pick.  The time is now. A few friends are on their way over.  And as soon as the fog clears and the grapes dry we will get underway.

I will take some pictures (on my rubbish camera as my good one has spat the proverbial dummy) and let you know all about it tomorrow. Now I have to get busy with my preparations. One of which is to make a nice spinach soup and some fresh bread for a casual supper out in the cool autumnal orchard when we are finished. 

Spinach Soup

I have been making this soup for years  so it is a great favourite. When I make it today I shall double the ingredients. In a large saucepan, (I use a wok) heat a couple of tablespoons olive oil. ADD

  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 3 rashers of bacon sliced thinly

Cook until the onions are slightly browned and bacon is cooked but NOT crispy. Then ADD

  • 3 medium sized evenly chopped washed potatoes

Toss the potatoes in the bacon and onion mixture and cook until hot then ADD (why has my text suddenly shrunk!)

  • chicken stock to cover plus an inch
  • chilli to taste
Cook until potatoes are soft. (Still tiny letters, sorry) You may need to add more chicken stock as you go along and then ADD
  • two colanders full of washed fresh spinach
  • scant half teaspoon grated nutmeg 
WILT the spinach. Mixing all together carefully. Then blend, adding more hot chicken stock if necessary. This is a beautiful deep green soup. I serve it thick. 

Serve with a swirl of cream and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese. Yes I am finally eating the parmesan!! It is only five months old and I know I am about 6 months too early but I can wait No longer!  I have six wheels of parmesan down there so I do not feel too naughty.. Don’t tell the cheese police!

And now –  to work

41 Comments on “Spinach Soup for the Pickers and Crushers!

  1. You do have a busy day ahead and I hope your weather is better than ours is. Your soup sounds wonderful and perfect for the occasion. As for the the cheese police, I wouldn’t worry about them. Moments ago, they came by and I told them I’d heard that someone in Madison, Wisconsin, was trying to make mozzarella out of soy milk. That’ll keep ’em busy.

    • Morning John, Well the weather is a wee bit gloomy and cool down here but dry. So dry is good. I knew I could rely on you to distract the cheese police. You fast thinker you. c

  2. Hope the day goes well and I love the soup – would offer to come and help but think I may arrive too late. Good thing Chgo John was quick on his feet with the police!

    • You are funny! actually the bread recipe is back there somewhere on an old page but it is hard to describe as i do not measure anything. c

  3. Ok, you win the ‘junky basement’ award, too…There was really and old grape-crusher down there? Amazing!
    Looking forward to the photos from the harvest/crushing day!

  4. Good Luck, dear Cecilia for this year’s harvest. Seems so exciting. Your photographs are always so nice, and you are doing great with your camera. I loved your bread… made me hungry! How do you make them, as I can understand in the photograph, you make small breads. And almost homemade, not with bread maching, Isn’t it? Spinach soup…. This is a new recipe for me. I cook spinach but I have never made a soup with it. Seems so delicious, especially all these ingredients should be giving a delicious taste. Yes, I noted one more recipe too in my notebook. Thank you dear Cecilia, Blessing and happiness, with my love, nia

  5. This looks very yummy. Though that wok full of onions,poatoes, and savory bacon would have had me hard pressed not to eat the whole lot before even getting to the spinach part.

    • Oh are you like me? fried potatoes are one of my most secret comfort foods, add bacon and onions.. heaven. i know what you are saying MM.. c

    • don’t forget the spinach!! it is really tasty,, perfect for taking away on a camping trip i think! and reheating over a fire! a hearty soup… c

  6. That spinach soup recipe looks like one I should try next year for my sister’s annual soup party. But a few questions: What’s a “rasher” of bacon? How do you “wilt” spinach? Also, do you puree the spinach?

    • By wilting I mean let it sit in the heat and go all limp and yes it is all pureed together. A rasher of bacon is a strip. Let me know how it goes! c

  7. Yum, Celi. I may need to try this on my brother, but I’ll need to find a substitute for the bacon. I’ll have to study that a while. Thank you, Nikki

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