Cream Of Spinach Soup


A few thick slices from a baguette
Extra virgin olive oil

2 lbs fresh spinach, thoroughly washed,
coarse stems removed, chopped
1 cup milk

2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 small onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp flour
3 cups milk
A few gratings nutmeg
A few grindings white pepper
Salt to taste
1 cup heavy (double, whipping) cream

Cut the baguette slices into large cubes (about 1? square) and brush all sides with olive oil. Toast in the oven, turning, until crisp on all sides. Set aside.

Put the spinach in a pot in just the water clinging to the leaves, cover tightly and cook over medium-low heat until tender and still bright green.

Meanwhile, in another pot, melt the butter and sauté the onion and garlic over low heat until very tender but do not allow to brown. Stir in the flour, making sure it is well absorbed. Add 1 cup/250ml of the milk and cook, stirring, until it starts to
thicken. Puree or push through a sieve to make it smooth and return to the pot. Stir in nutmeg and pepper.

Remove about a fourth of the cooked spinach from the first pot and set aside. Add the cup of milk to the remaining 3/4 of the spinach and puree until smooth. Pour into the second pot. Add the remaining milk to the mixture and cook until it has thickened and has a few bubbles around the edges but does not boil. Make
sure the raw flour taste has been completely cooked out. Add the reserved chopped but not pureed spinach and the cream. Stir well and add salt to taste.

Transfer to a soup tureen and serve topped with croutons. Serves 4-6.