Spinach Soup with Pancetta & Goat Cheese & Walnut Bruschetta


I have been craving Spinach Soup for a while now (probably iron deficient!) and as I was home with my sick boy today, I took the opportunity to make it. With a sizzle of pancetta to start with, packed with   spinach and finished with a spoonful of cream, a good grinding of black pepper  and served with bruschetta with either blue cheese or goat cheese and walnuts,  it's absolutely delicious.

1 tbsp olive oil
100g pancetta, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 large agria potato, peeled and diced
4 cups good quality chicken or vegetable stock
350g washed spinach
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
4 tbsp cream

Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pot and cook pancetta over a medium heat until crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add onion to the pot, lower heat and cook 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, cook 1 minute, then add potato and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Bring back to the boil, drop in spinach and cook 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whizz with a food processor - the short cooking time keeps the spinach lovely and green. Season to taste with a grating of nutmeg and sea salt and ground black pepper - it won't need much salt because of the pancetta. Serve with a wee swirl of cream or a drizzle of good quality olive oil, a sprinkling of black pepper and some of the crispy pancetta. To go with it I made bruschetta using a loaf of sourdough toasted, then topped with crumbled blue cheese on some, goat cheese on others, sprinkled with roughly chopped walnuts and popped under the grill.
Serves 6 as a starter or 4 for lunch. 

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