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Adapted from “A Year in My Kitchen” by Skye Gyngell and printed in a local publication then adapted further by me. I realized once I started to gather the ingredients to test this recipe I didn't have enough baby arugula and substituted a small amount of baby spinach leaves.
- 10 ounces young tender baby arugula leaves or 10 ounces young tender spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
- 2 large shallots, very thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cups vegetable broth (or stock) or 4 cups chicken broth (or stock)
- 2⁄3 cup creme fraiche
- 1⁄2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (to taste)
- grated lemon zest
- Wash the arugula (or spinach) very well under cold water then drain in a salad spinner. Arugula/spinach tends to hold dirt, so make sure you wash it until the water runs clear. Run the leaves through the salad spinner one more time.
- Place a large pan (big enough to hold the arugula/spinach) over medium high heat. Add the arugula/spinach and cook until it just wilts (the water clinging to the leaves after washing generates enough steam for cooking), about 1 minute. Immediately remove from heat.
- Place the arugula/spinach back into the salad spinner, spinning out any excess moisture; set aside.
- Rinse and dry the pan. Add the butter and melt gently over low heat until softly foaming, lightly browned and smells faintly nutty; add the shallots and sweat for about 5 minutes, or until softened and translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two, then season generously with salt and pepper.
- Add the arugula or spinach and stir once or twice to combine, then pour in the broth and turn up the heat to high.
- As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, *immediately* remove from the heat. Don’t overcook it or the spinach will become slimy quickly!
- Coarsely puree the soup using an immersion blender, or using a stand blender, in batches as necessary. Don’t puree it too fine or the soup will seem watery.
- Return the soup to the pan (still on low heat) and stir in the creme fraiche. 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.