Friday, March 13, 2009

CSA week 14 - Cold avocado, arugula and spring onion soup

I've adapted this from this recipe for cold avocado, spinach and scallion soup, but the only ingredient I didn't change was the lime so I'm comfortable calling this recipe mine.

1 Monroe avocado (or 2 Hass), roughly chopped
1 lime, juiced
the middle bit of a spring onion (or 4 scallions), sliced
3 ounces (by weight) arugula leaves without a whole lot of stems (or one pack of baby spinach)
2 1/2 cups shrimp stock or broth
4 sea scallops, brined and dried
1 slice bacon, chopped
several grape tomatoes, chopped
a few drops of hot sauce
salt and pepper

1. Fry bacon over medium-low heat until crisp. Remove from pan, turn up heat and sear scallops in the bacon fat. Let both cool.

2. Chill all the ingredients.

3. When everything is good and cold, put avocado, lime juice, spring onion and arugula into food processor, holding a little bit back for garnish if you'd like. Add a little broth and process out the big chunks. Slowly add more broth while processing until the soup is to the texture you'd like. I aimed at smooth and creamy myself, but I could see that you might like it with a little texture or a little thinner. This will take a couple minutes so there's plenty of time to check and adjust seasoning as you go along.

4. Top soup with scallops, bacon, tomatoes and any of the green stuff you saved. Serve with toast spread with cream cheese. Makes two large servings or four soup courses.

Hmm, that's surprisingly good stuff. It's not quite creamy enough that you think there's actual cream in there, but it's impressively close. The avocado is quite mild so the flavor is mostly spring onion and arugula. I was afraid the processing would bring out the bitterness of both, but it's just nicely peppery with a little oniony burn. You could make this with baby spinach and sweet onion, but it wouldn't have any character.

It needs a good bit of salt, pepper and acid to bring the flavors out. It would be easy to overdo it and have the hot sauce and lime be primary flavors, which wouldn't be bad if you wanted to take the recipe in a Southwestern direction I suppose. I'd use chicken broth, leave out the scallops, and add a little cilantro, cumin and top with grated montery jack cheese if I were going to do that.

The tomatoes, bacon and scallops all match well, but the scallops stand out as particularly good. I'll have to remember to pair scallops with arugula in the future.

Overall, pretty nice and really easy, especially since you could prepare everything beforehand and just blend it at the last minute. And you can impress guests since it seems pretty sophisticated if you don't make smiley-faces in the bowls.


rina said...

I think it's nice when your food smiles at you.

billjac said...

Have you ever tried a boiled sheep's head? They always look so chipper lying there on the platter.

rina said...

Bill, are you trying to discourage me from commenting? Ew (or: ewe).