Spinach soup with nutmeg and crème fraîche
Adapted from "A Year in My Kitchen" by Skye Gyngell
10 ounces young, tender spinach leaves
2 tablespoons butter
2 large shallots, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups chicken stock
Generous 2/3 cup crème fraîche
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste
Grated lemon zest
1. Wash the
spinach very well in several changes of water. Spinach tends to hold dirt, so make sure you wash it until the water runs clear. Drain and shake the spinach dry.
2. Place a
large pan (big enough to hold the spinach) over medium high heat. Add the spinach and cook until it just wilts (the water clinging to the leaves after washing generates enough steam for cooking), about 2 minutes. Immediately remove from heat. Drain the spinach in a colander, squeezing out any excess moisture, and set aside.
3. Rinse and
dry the pan. Add the butter and melt gently over low heat until softly foaming, then add the shallots and sweat for 5 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two, then season generously with salt and pepper.
4. Add the
spinach and turn once or twice to combine, then pour in the stock and turn up the heat to high. Bring to a simmer, then immediately remove from the heat. Don't overcook it or the spinach will turn color. Coarsely purée the soup using an immersion blender, or using a stand blender, in batches as necessary. Don't purée it too fine or the soup will seem watery.
5. Return the
soup to the pan and stir in the crème fraîche. Add the grated nutmeg, then check for seasoning — adding a little more nutmeg, pepper and/or salt to taste. Salt in particular is key to the flavor of this soup. Reheat gently and sprinkle with grated lemon zest just before serving. This makes a generous 5 cups of soup.