Chilled Asparagus Vichyssoise with Ginger Cream and Crabmeat
Total Time: 30
Yield: 10 servings
A welcome variation on this spring classic. The additional garnish of lump crabmeat adds an elegant element of surprise.
Ingredients:14 ounces lump crabmeat
1/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1-1/4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2-1/2 pounds fresh asparagus, tough bottom ends trimmed and discarded, stalks cut into 1-inch pieces, tips set aside
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 medium leeks, white parts and 1 inch of tender green parts only, thinly sliced
3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
5 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium vegetable broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
Prepare an ice-water bath and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups salted water to boil. Add asparagus tips and boil about 3 minutes, then place in ice bath until cooled. Drain tips and lay to dry on a paper towel.
In a large saucepan, melt butter and cook leeks, stirring well, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, stock, and white wine, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add remaining asparagus (not reserved tips) and cook over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and puree (be cautious of the hot liquid). Allow soup to cool to room temperature, then strain through a sieve and discard solids. Stir in heavy cream and season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
To serve, place about 2 tablespoons crabmeat mixture into each of 10 chilled soup bowls and ladle soup on top. Garnish with a small dollop of crabmeat mixture and reserved asparagus tips.