Spinach soup with nutmeg and crème fraîche

Serves four

This is a thick green tangle of a soup that is deliciously comforting to eat.

300g/10oz young, tender spinach
25g/1oz unsalted butter
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (230ml/71/2fl oz) of chicken stock or water
100ml/31/2fl oz crème fraîche
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Wash the spinach well. Put a large pan on top of a gentle heat and add the butter. As the butter begins to melt, add the shallot, garlic and a little salt and sweat for five minutes or until translucent.

Add the spinach and cook until it just wilts, then add the stock and cook for a further minute. Remove from the pan and purée the spinach in a blender until velvety smooth.

Return to the pan and stir in the crème fraîche, add the nutmeg and taste for seasoning. Don't add too much salt, but plenty of black pepper is good.

Serve warm – do not boil, as the spinach will lose its vibrancy – with warm bread and butter.

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