Spinach and Parmesan soup with Parmesan croûtons

Serves 4-6

60g butter
1 large leek, washed and chopped
1tbsp flour
1.5ltrs hot vegetable stock
250-300g spinach
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
60-70g freshly grated Parmesan

For the croûtons

2-3 slices of sourdough or white bread, cut into 1cm cubes, crust on or off
50-60ml olive oil
50g freshly grated Parmesan

Melt the butter in a saucepan; gently cook the leek with a lid on for 2-3 minutes, stirring every so often.

Stir in the flour; gradually add the stock to avoid lumps. Bring to the boil; simmer for 20 minutes.

Stir in the spinach, bring back to the boil, simmer for 3-4 minutes, remove from heat; blend in a liquidiser with the Parmesan until smooth; season.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the croûtons for a few minutes so they colour evenly. Once golden, remove on to some kitchen paper and scatter over the Parmesan; season. Serve immediately with the croûtons scattered on top.

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