Darina Allen’s Sea Spinach Soup


darina allen sea spinach soup

Sea Spinach Soup

Sea spinach is at its sweetest and most delicious at present…. I absolutely love it and really want you to know about it so if you live near a rocky strand, look out for it – the shiny green leaves are unmistakable. It is, in fact, the ancestor to most cultivated varieties of beet, from beetroot to spinach beet. It can be cooked exactly like garden spinach and used in the same way, for example, try serving it in Middle Eastern style with raisins and pine kernels and a touch of cinnamon. Not surprisingly, because sea spinach is washed by the tides, it is full of iodine, minerals and other trace elements and it has an addictive salty tang. Sea spinach is tougher and slightly stronger in flavour than garden spinach, so it takes a little longer to cook.

The trick with these green soups is not to add the greens until the last minute, otherwise they will overcook and the soup will lose its fresh taste and bright green colour.

50g (2oz/1/2 stick) butter

110g (4oz/1 cup) onion, chopped

150g (5oz/1 cup) potatoes, chopped

600ml (1 pint/2 1/2 cups) homemade chicken stock, vegetable stock or water

425-600ml (3/4-1 pint/2 – 2 1/2 cups) creamy milk (1/4 cream and 3/4 milk)

salt and freshly ground pepper

225-350g (8-12oz/3 cups) sea spinach, destalked and chopped

Freshly ground nutmeg


2 tablespoons (2 American tablespoons + 2 teaspoons) whipped cream (optional

Freshly chopped parsley

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. When it foams add the onions and potatoes and turn them until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and sweat on a gentle heat for 10 minutes. Add the boiling stock and milk, bring back to the boil and simmer until the potatoes and onions are fully cooked. Add the sea spinach and boil with the lid off for about 3-5 minutes, until the sea spinach is tender. Do not overcook or the soup will lose its fresh green colour.

Liquidise and taste and add some freshly grated nutmeg.  Serve in warm bowls garnished with a blob of whipped cream and some chopped parsley

Ballymaloe Cookery


Darina Allen’s Carrot and Mint Soup


Carrot and Mint Soup

Most people will have carrots, onions and potatoes in their pantry – I’m using the first little shoots of fresh mint to flavour my batch of carrot soup today.


This soup may be served either hot or cold, don’t hesitate to put in a good pinch of sugar, it brings up the flavour.

560g(1 1/4lb/3 cups) carrots, preferably organic, chopped

45g(1 1/2oz/scant 1/2 stick) butter

110g(4oz) onion, chopped

150g(5oz) potatoes, chopped

salt,freshly ground pepper and sugar

sprig of spearmint

1.2litres (2 pints/5 cups) homemade light chicken or vegetable stock

62ml(2 1/2fl oz/generous 1/4 cup) creamy milk, (optional)

3 teaspoons freshly chopped spearmint


a little lightly whipped cream or crème fraiche

sprigs of spearmint

Melt the butter and when it foams add the chopped vegetables, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and sugar. Add a sprig of mint, cover with a butter paper (to retain the steam) and a tight fitting lid.Leave to sweat gently on a low heat for about 10 minutes approx.Remove the lid, add the boiling stock and cook until the vegetables are soft. Pour into the liquidiser, add 3 teaspoons of freshly chopped mint and puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Adda little creamy milk if necessary.

Garnish with a swirl of lightly whipped cream or crème frâiche and a sprig of fresh mint.


Carrot and Lovage Soup

Substitute lovage for mint in the above recipe.

Carrot,Garlic Chive Flowers and Seeds

Add finely chopped garlic chives instead of mint in the master recipe. Garnish with a swirl of lightly whipped cream or crème fraiche,garlic chive flowers and seeds.  Society garlic flowers are also great.

Great news… The @ballymaloecookeryschool is reopening on 29th June

Screenshot_2020-06-26 Ballymaloe House ( ballymaloe_house) • Instagram photos and videos

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Great news… The @ballymaloecookeryschool is reopening on 29th June, only 4km from us and a wonderful place to visit! We are offering our Unique Breaks from 22nd July when our accommodation reopens.
We are also delighted to share the news that our pastry chef @jrryall will be hosting an afternoon demo class at #ballymaloecookeryschool on Tuesday 21st July (2-5pm) and sharing some secrets from our @worldrestawards winning Dessert Trolley!
See @ballymaloecookeryschool website for more details and to book (book early, places are limited due to social distancing regulations)
Images: JR by @cliodhnaprendergast and Strawberry Shortcake 🍓 by @jrryall (recipe is on our website) #sweetsuccess #desserttrolley #sweetsecrets #learnatballymaloe