My mom and dad came over for Father's Day yesterday. Instead of making a salad, I decided on a cold soup. My inspiration was this recipe on the Epicurious web site for Chilled Asparagus Soup with Timbale of Caviar, Crab, and Avocado. I left out the caviar and avocado and made a few other small changes; my version is below.
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 small leeks, thickly sliced
- 1 1/2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed, spears coarsely chopped (reserve 2 spears uncooked per bowl of soup for garnish - this was my idea)
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth (vegetable broth could be used for a vegetarian version)
- 3 cups chopped spinach leaves
- 1 tbsp minced shallot for soup (my addition) and 1 tbsp minced shallot for crab
- 6 tbsp fresh crab meat
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Original recipe also called for 3/4 cup diced peeled pitted avocado, another tbsp fresh lemon juice, and 6 tsp black caviar; I omitted both
- Melt butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add shallots and saute 1 minute (not in original recipe)
- Add leeks and saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add asparagus and stock; bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until asparagus is tender, about 8 minutes.
- Add spinach, cover and simmer until wilted, about 4 minutes.
- Puree soup until smooth using handheld immersion blender or by transferring in batches to a blender.
- Transfer soup to a large bowl, season with salt and pepper.
- Cool, then cover and chill until cold, at least 2 hours and up to a day.
- Mix crab meat, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and shallot in a small bowl.
The original recipe had instructions for serving the soup that included assembling the timbale of avocado, crab, and caviar. Instead, I ladled the cold soup into mugs, put two asparagus spears in each and topped with chives, and then anyone who wanted crab could spoon the mixture into their soup. A dollop of creme fraiche would have been very nice in this soup as well.
I got mixed reviews on this one... my dad and I loved it, my mom didn't care for it at all, and Jon thought it was too heavy. It was a bit heavy for a cold soup, but still delicious. I tasted it warm as it was cooking and it would definitely work as a warm soup.
It was very refreshing so I'm off to find my next inspiration for a cold soup...it's only June and we have a lot of summer heat and humidity left!!
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