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: