Provencal Christmas soup

Provencal Christmas soup

In many parts of Provençe, fish or mussels with spinach used to be a traditional dish on Christmas Eve. In our days the end of the year festivities often lead to nutritional excesses.

The French Elle magazine suggested that the week before Christmas one should do a pretox to prepare the metabolism for the marathon of the end of the year. The plan is to avoid alcohol, caffeine (if you can!), sugar and industrial products, and to reduce dairy products. Vegetables, chicken, fish, brown rice and herbal teas are perfect ingredients for a pretox menu.

So the following old Provençal Christmas recipe of spinach soup with mussels, moules aux épinards, is in fact a super pretox recipe. The recipe is modified from the cookbook of Leslie Forbes: A table in Provençe.

2 servings

About 150 g fresh baby spinach
About 30 cleaned mussels (more if you use the small Mont Saint Michel mussels)
1 shallot, minced
300 ml vegetable stock
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
50 ml white wine
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large casserole, warm 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the minced shallot about 5- 10 minutes until soft. Then add the baby spinach and continue sautéing a few minutes until the spinach has wilted. Add a little vegetable stock and mix with handheld mixer, it does not have to be completely smooth. Add the rest of the stock, stir and cover. Keep warm.

In a heavy casserole, warm 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat and sauté the minced garlic for a few minutes. Add the white wine and black pepper and bring to the boil. Add the mussels and cover. Continue cooking about 4 minutes after the mussels have started to steam in the casserole. Shake the casserole and check that all the mussels have opened. Shell the mussels.

Divide the spinach soup in bowls and place the mussels on top. Sprinkle with olive oil and serve with good whole wheat bread.


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