Watching Iron Chef America last night, I was intrigued by the intense green soup served by Flay and Comerford to the judges. One judge did not find a lot of flavor in it but the color was beautiful. They won the competition because of creativity and presentation. I wanted to recreate the soup made with fresh baby spinach and found a recipe by Chef Comerford. So here it is, adapted from Executive Chef Comerford's No Cream Creamed Spinach recipe with my own touches, a bit of butter and finely chopped almonds as garnish. It is so important to sweat the garlic and shallots to bring out their flavor and to adjust the seasonings for this to work.
No Cream Creamed Spinach
2 pounds baby spinach, washed and cleaned
2 tablespoons olive oil + 1 tsp butter
4 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Blanch half the spinach in salted, boiling water. Immediately, “shock” the blanched spinach in a bowl of iced water. Drain and squeeze out the excess water then puree in a blender and set aside. I added 4 Tbsp water for a smoother texture.
In a large skillet, sweat the shallots and garlic until translucent. Add the rest of the spinach leaves. Toss and sauté until wilted then fold in the spinach puree. Make sure to season with salt and pepper.