About this recipe:Crème fraîche and breadcrumbs make a creamy base for Parmesan cheese and spinach in this stress-free version of a traditional soufflé. Serve with new potatoes and steamed baby vegetables. Delicious!
10g soft butter
480g young spinach
1 slice white bread, about 40g, crusts removed
150ml half-fat crème fraîche
5 eggs, separated
50g grated Parmesan, or Italian-style hard cheese
freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:15min › Ready in:30min
Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan oven), gas 7. Lightly butter the inside of four 250ml ovenproof dishes. Tip the washed spinach into a dry pan with only the moisture left on the leaves and stir over a low heat for about 2 minutes or until wilted. Leave to drain while making the breadcrumbs.
Tear the bread into small pieces and process in a food processor or blender to make fine crumbs. Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the drained spinach, then add to the crumbs with half the crème fraîche and process to make a coarse purée. Add the remaining crème fraîche and process for a few more seconds until just combined.
Add the egg yolks to the food processor or blender with 3 tbsp of the grated Parmesan cheese. Season and add plenty of nutmeg, then process again to make a smooth purée.
Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff. Tip the spinach mixture on to the egg whites and carefully fold together using a large metal spoon. Sprinkle half the remaining Parmesan inside the prepared dishes and set them on a baking sheet. Spoon the soufflé mixture into the dishes. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan, then bake for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Serve at once.
Finely chop 125g cooked ham or bought crispy cooked bacon or a few drained canned anchovies and add to the base mixture before folding into the egg whites at step 4. * Put a little cooked flaked smoked fish – smoked haddock or trout, or kippers – in the base of each dish before spooning in the soufflé mix at step 4. * Put diced smoked tofu into the base of each dish, then top with the soufflé mix at step 4.
Bolognese soufflés Spoon 1-2 tbsp warmed leftover Family Cottage Pie filling or Bolognese Sauce into the base of each dish. Top with the soufflé mix used for the basic recipe at step 4, and bake.
…speed it up
Supermarket bags of ready-washed and prepared young and tender spinach are one of the most useful time-savers. There's no waste and the spinach can be cooked in the bag. You will need 2 x 240g bags for this recipe. Cook the spinach according to the pack instructions: pierce the bags and steam for 1 minute or cook in the microwave (usually for about 3 minutes).