Spinach-Basil Soup with Apple Matchsticks - Ellise Pierce

Moving to Paris was the best bad decision that Texan Ellise Pierce ever made. Wooed to the city by a Frenchman, she soon found herself with just 100 euros in her bank account. So she launched a last-ditch effort to stay in the City of Light: She started her own catering business and began teaching other American expats how to re-create flavors from home. Using French ingredients and techniques from both sides of the Atlantic, she did more than found a culinary company—she created a unique style of cooking that’s part Texas, part French, and all Cowgirl.


Spinach-Basil Soup with Apple Matchsticks
Makes 4 servings

• about 1 pound of potatoes
• 2 tablespoons of olive oil
• 3 tablespoons of chopped shallot
• 32 ounces of veggie stock
• 11 ounces of baby spinach
• about 6 large leaves of fresh basil
• a pinch of nutmeg
• a pinch of cayenne
• sea salt and pepper
• crème fraiche or sour cream, for serving
• ½ of 1 Granny Smith apple, cut into matchsticks, for serving

1. Chop the scrubbed potatoes into 3-inch chunks (I leave the skins on), toss them in a pot, cover with water and add a good pinch of salt. Put them onto boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the potatoes are soft; this'll take about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and put them aside for now. 

2. Drizzle the olive oil in your soup pot, add the shallots, and turn the heat to medium. Cook till the shallots start to become translucent. Now add the cooked potatoes, veggie stock, spinach, basil, nutmeg, cayenne, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Give this a quick stir and cook only for about 30 seconds -- the idea here is to keep the color bright. Pour everything into your blender and give it a whir until it's smooth and creamy.

Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche in the middle of each bowl and a few Granny Smith apple matchsticks on top.

Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent (Running Press)