This recipe is a repeat offender but it was a crowd favorite at Saturday's Supper Club so I thought I'd post it again. As far as soups go, this one is as easy as it gets. Thank you to Hubert Keller at Fleur de Lys in San Francisco for sharing this with us via Bon Appetit. Osetra caviar is not in my budget so I go for a small jar of the Whitefish caviar that you can find at the super market. It costs much less and looks just as elegant. However, don't skimp on the crab and go for the canned stuff. You'll regret it.
Please forgive the photo. It does the dish no justice.
Chilled Asparagus Soup with Timbale of Caviar, Crab and Avocado
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 small leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise, thickly sliced (about 3 cups)
- 1 1/2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed, spears coarsely chopped
- 4 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
- 3 cups chopped spinach leaves (about 3 1/2 ounces
- 6 tablespoons flaked fresh crabmeat
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 3/4 cup diced peeled pitted avocado
- 6 teaspoons good-quality black caviar (such as osetra)
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add asparagus and stock; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until asparagus is tender, about 8 minutes. Add spinach, cover and simmer until wilted, about 4 minutes. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Transfer soup to large bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool, then cover and chill until cold, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
Mix crabmeat, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and shallot in small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix avocado and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice in another small bowl; mash coarsely. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place tomato can or biscuit cutter in center of 1 soup bowl. Spoon in 1 tablespoon avocado mixture; smooth top. Spoon in 1 tablespoon crab mixture; press lightly to compact. Spoon in 1 tablespoon avocado mixture. Top with 1 teaspoon caviar. Carefully lift off can. Repeat in remaining soup bowls with remaining timbale ingredients. Ladle soup around each timbale. Serve immediately.