As you can see, my friends were pretty excited when I served this winning dish on Friday.
I'm a soup person. I think it's a very elegant and delicate way to kick-off a dinner party and if you eat at my house it is almost guaranteed that I've whipped one up.
I came up with this recipe by combining a couple that I have used before. I stole the garnish from my deviled eggs and subbed leak soup for the cauliflower and sea scallop recipe I hold so dear to my heart. The truth is that this was intended to be a ramp soup. I was so excited to showcase this spring gem. However, it's still cold here in Chicago and they are not available yet so I subbed with leaks and spring onions. A tear.
BUT, it was amazing and there is something to be said about straining your soup in a sieve then just serving a plain puree. I am angry that I have been so lazy all these years and now I will never go back.
Leek Soup and Sea Scallops with creme fraiche, whitefish caviar and truffle oil
1 pound ramps (you can sub regular leeks and green/spring onions)
1/2 sweet onion such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/3 cup dry white wine
3 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 sea scallops
2 teaspoons garlic paste
Garnish: Creme fraiche, whitefish caviar, lemon zest, truffle oil and chives
Trim roots from ramps and slip off outer skin on bupounds if loose. Cut green tops from ramps and coarsely chop enough greens to measure 3 cups (reserve remainder for another use). Thinly slice ramp bulbs, including pink stems.
Cook ramp bulbs, onion, white pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add wine, then boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until evaporated completely. Add broth, garlic paste and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until onions and ramps are very soft, about 20 minutes. Stir in ramp greens and boil 1 minute.
Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until very smooth, about 1 minute per batch (use caution when blending hot liquids), then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large heatproof bowl, pressing hard on and then discarding solids.
Sear scallops in a pan over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes a side. Place in shallow bowl.
Return soup to cleaned pot and bring just to a boil. Whisk in butter until smooth. Season with salt. Ladle soup around scallops and garnish. Serve immediately.