The Swedes make this soup with sorrel or young nettles as well as spinach, so you may want to include some sorrel if you can find it. The egg butter-balls melt deliciously into the soup but it's also lovely garnished with sour cream and chopped raw salmon and salmon caviar.
FOR THE BUTTER BALLS
- 115g butter
- Yolks of 3 hard-boiled eggs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE SOUP
- 25g butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 40g rice
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 500g spinach leaves, washed
- 150ml double cream
- Juice of ½ lemon
- For the butter-balls, mash the butter and egg yolks together in a bowl, then season. Roll into 18 or more balls, about 2.5cm in diameter, put them on a plate, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to firm.
- For the soup, melt the butter in a large saucepan on a low heat, add the onion and a splash of water. Cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes until the onion is soft, checking every so often to see if a splash more water is needed. Add the rice and the stock and bring to the boil. Cook partially covered for 15 minutes. Add the spinach, pressing it down as it wilts, so that you can fit it all in. Bring to the boil, season, and cook for 6 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Leave to cool completely.
- Purée the soup in a blender and add the cream. Put back into a saucepan to heat, add half the lemon juice and taste - you may want more lemon, or more salt. Serve the spinach soup hot with about 3 egg butter-balls per person on top.
To drink: For those who drink wine with soup, fino sherry is always an option, but a good Soave will cope well with the distinctive taste of spinach: Pieropan Soave 2008, £10.25, . Wine details correct at original magazine publication date.
From the June 2010 issue of House & Garden. Recipe by Diana Henry; photograph by Tara Fisher; food preparation and styling by Puff Fairclough; wine recommendations by Joanna Simon; table styling by Alexander Breeze.