Saturday, April 20, 2013
You know Spring is here when you see the gorgeous and vibrant green asparagus at the market stands. Asparagus is one of my favorite vegetables to prepare and I couldn't help but to grab a few bunches whenever I see them available. Can you believe we’re having 80+ F. degree in April? After living in L.A. for so many years, I’m not surprise though. With the hot weather, it’s very natural that I crave for something light and refreshing, such as gazpacho. Gazpacho is usually a tomato-based, vegetable soup, traditionally served cold, originating in the southern Spanish region of Andalucía. Gazpacho is widely consumed in Spanish cuisine, as well as in neighboring Portugal, where it is known as gaspacho. Did you know that my hubby is half Portuguese? No wonder he likes this soup a lot.
In this Green Gazpacho, I used asparagus, spinach, Lindsay Naturals’ California Green Ripe Olives, fresh mint leaves, a little lemon juice and some vegetable stock for the soup base. Then, I top it all off with some sweet and juicy jumbo lump crab meat, a few rounds of Lindsay’s olive for texture, a dollop of crème fraîche for creaminess, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and garnish with a spring of mint. It was the most refreshing soup I've ever tasted! If you want to keep it vegetarian, you can skip the crab meat. But I’m telling you, the sweetness from the crab meat really matches wonderfully with this light and healthy soup.
As I mentioned above, I used Lindsay Naturals’ California Green Ripe Olives in the soup. They are pretty mild, yet very buttery and smooth. The taste is slightly salty and nutty. They are definitely my favorite olives to use. Make sure you use this kind and not the one from the jar for this recipe as the later ones tend to be too strong and salty for the soup.
I save a few and cut them in rounds to garnish the soup. They make a great snack as well and my Daughter is a big fan. You can serve this soup as an appetizer or a side dish. How about serving a bigger portion and call it a meal? That's what I did the other day and it was a satisfying lunch!
Here goes the perfect spoonful of goodness. A little bit of everything.
It was a light and refreshing lunch that I’ll be making very often this Spring.
This would be festive and prefect for St. Patrick's Day too!
Green Gazpacho: (Printable Recipe)
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups diced asparagus, ends trimmed
1 (6 oz) can Lindsay Naturals California Green Ripe Olives, save a few for garnish
2 cups spinach leaves
5 to 6 fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup jumbo lump crab meat
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzle
2 tablespoons crème fraîche
In a medium sauce pan, bring vegetable stock to a boil, add asparagus and cook for 8 to 10 mins, or until tender. Stir in olive, spinach, mint leaves and lemon juice and remove from heat. Let the soup cool slightly. Place soup in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Chill soup in refrigerator until cold, about 2 hours.
To serve, cut the reserved olives into rounds. Then, divide chilled soup in serving bowls, top 2 tablespoons of crab meat in each bowl, add reserved olive rounds, dollop 1/2 a tablespoon of crème fraîche in each bowl, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with a spring of fresh mint leave. Enjoy.