Danielle Postma is a Joburg chef who, for a number of years, co-owned and ran a popular restaurant and bakery called Moema's in Parktown North. It was well known for having the most mouth-watering window displays of her baked creations, including enormous raspberry swirled meringues and unforgettable 'magic bars'. She is also the queen of salads. Today she runs a catering business offering the same fantastic treats for home and also offers cooking classes which you can sign up for at moemas.co.za.
Postma did her training while in London at Leiths School of Food and Wine. As she tells it "One day, Yotam Ottolenghi was the guest lecturer, and although he reiterated that he wasn’t looking for staff, I phoned him anyway and after a long chat, he said I could start at Baker and Spice the following Monday." For anyone who has not encountered Ottolenghi, he is the stuff of cooking legend and his fresh approach to food and his Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influenced style of cooking means his many books belong on the shelves of any home cook.
She shared her pea and spinach soup recipe with us.
"The simplicity and speed at which you can whip up the pea and spinach soup is very satisfying and I've also added some optional extras like coconut milk, bacon and or nutmeg as optional alternatives.
Pea and spinach soup is so delicious and fresh, not to mention a pleasure to whip up quickly. The longest part of creating this dish is ensuring you cook the onions long enough, enabling all their wonderful sweet flavours to come through... Omitting this simple step would frankly ruin this simple, delicious soup.
I didn't add the cream today, only because I didn't have any, but I've made it before with coconut milk and sauteed the onions in coconut oil... totally scrumptious. We had a few rashers of crispy bacon leftover from breakfast and I adore cold yoghurt dolloped on top of a hot soup."
PEA AND SPINACH SOUPmakes 4/6 servings
2 medium onions, finely chopped
50g butter/olive oil/coconut oil
500g garden peas
480g baby spinach (1 large bag), washed!
2 tsp vegetable stock powder
1l hot water
500g fresh cream/coconut cream/milk
Optional extra – nutmeg
Optional extra – crispy bacon left over from breakfast :)
Gently saute the finely chopped onions in the butter/olive oil or coconut oil until they are soft and sweet. You don't want them to brown or crisp up... so nice and gently for a golden colour
Dissolve the stock in hot water
Add the peas, clean spinach and optional cream/coconut milk
Saute to soften the spinach
Blend until smooth in either a food processor, liquidizer or hand held blender
Season to taste. Salt is all I usually add. I don't like black pepper in this soup
To serve add a blob of yoghurt (I would only do this if I hadn't added cream or coconut milk) and serve with some crispy bacon and crispy baguette.