Julia Child’s Cream of Spinach Soup
The first female celebrity chef would have been 102 today so it’s fitting to showcase this simple but decadent soup.
My husband has been fighting a cold bug for the last few days and I thought a nice, hot soup would soothe his sore throat. Why spinach? Honestly, I had a bag of spinach I needed to use fairly soon or lose forever.
I opened Mastering the Art of French Cooking to page 43 where I found a recipe for Potage Creme d’Epinards (Cream of Spinach Soup) described in the book as, “…a lovely soup, and perfect for an important dinner.” Sounded good to me so I decided to give it a try and the resulting soup was a definite winner!
Side note: I love the way this recipe is written…”enrichment butter,” “off heat” etc. – so charming.
Here’s Mrs. Child’s exact recipe, in case you don’t have the book:
1/3 cup minced green onions, or yellow onions
3 Tbsp butter
3-4 packed cups of fresh spinach cut into chiffonade (thin slices)
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp flour (I used 5 Tbsp total for a thicker soup, your preference)
5 1/2 cups boiling white stock or chicken broth
2 eggs yolks
1/2 cup whipping cream
1-2 Tbsp butter
1. Cook the onions slowly in the butter in a covered saucepan for 5 to 10 minutes, until tender and translucent but not browned.
2. Stir in spinach and salt, cover, and cook slowly for about 5 minutes or until the leaves are tender and wilted.
3. Sprinkle in the flour and stir over moderate heat for 3 minutes.
4. Off heat, beat in the boiling stock. Simmer for 5 minutes. *If not to be served immediately, set aside uncovered. Reheat to simmer before proceeding.
5. Blend the yolks and cream in the mixing bowl. Beat a cupful of hot soup into them by driblets. Gradually beat in the rest of the soup in a thin stream. Return soup to saucepan and stir over moderate heat for a minute or two to peach the egg yolks, but do not bring the soup to a simmer. Off heat, stir in the enrichment butter a tablespoon at a time.
I made the usual vegetarian and vegan substitutes for all but the egg yolks: