Hi you guys!!! Spring must really be in the air for me, because I've got the bug. I went to the farmers market on Sunday in downtown Los Gatos- talk about re-inspiration for all things green and fresh.... I saw the first cut of the season for asparagus and sweet sugar snap peas, hence, this post.
You know, it's interesting- I had no idea how this finicky weather can DRASTICALLY affect our crops. Although it's late February, the spring crops are ready to be picked. They need just a few more hot days and they'll be ready for harvest and in peak perfection. If it rains, we won't get to see any of that bounty for at least another month.... bummer 🙁
For now, I want to share with you a tasty starter I like to serve to guests when I do my spring tasting menu's. This is a chilled soup, with piping hot mushrooms served on top as a garnish. It's bright, fresh, bold, citrusy and infused with basil. It's one of those fast recipes I love because it TASTES like a labor of love. It's infused with intense flavor, pureed in a blender, made with zero cooking time and is perfect for serving a crowd because of the fact it requires no heat.
1/2 white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 lb. fresh spring peas, snapped and blanched or 1 lb. frozen peas
1/2 c. fresh squeezed lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
4 cups water or vegetable stock
1 c. heavy cream, optional
8 oz. wild mushrooms
salt and pepper to taste
Puree all the ingredients except heavy cream and mushrooms in a blender or vita mix until smooth.
Strain through a fine mesh sieve and throw away all the fibrous leftovers left in the strainer. This will need to be done in batches.
Add heavy cream to the left over green, vibrant liquid and season with salt and pepper.
Keep in the fridge until service.
Right before service, saute the wild mushrooms in 2 tlbs. olive oil, salt and pepper. Allow the mushrooms to cook out the liquid and get golden brown. Serve atop the soup and garnish with fresh herbs.
It'd be delicious to add a dollop of creme fraiche at the end as well for added decadence.
As always, if you'd like to get any of the tools I talk about in this post, you can always click on the items below. I do get a small kickback from them, but I'd never endorse anything I wasn't totally hooked on myself. 🙂