Apr 27, 2009
02:54 PM
Table Talk

Yearly favorite

Spring is finally here! (Although as soon as I publish those words we will probably get a dumping of snow!) Spring signals the blooms on our gorgeous Red Bud and Azaleas to open wide. Spring relieves people of their cabin fever, sending them outside to play (or work in the yard...). And spring means our farmers' markets are finally open! Two things I look for at the early season markets are peas and asparagus, bright green veggies that take me through the season. However, I tend to get overly excited in my purchasing, ending up with a bounty that no two people could eat in a reasonable amount of time. After I have made one too many batches of asparagus risotto or pasta with peas and ricotta, I like to preserve the veggies for a later time.

This is one of my favorite spring recipes, which we printed in TulsaPeople last April. I wanted to share it with you again, just in case you partake in my same farmers' market buying habits. It is delicious served warm, right from the pot, but if you have the patience, chill it completely and freeze for an upcoming hot summer's eve.

Green pea and asparagus bisque with truffle oil This soup is inspired by a delicious version served by Steven Howard at KoKoa in Brookside. For a lower-fat option, substitute buttermilk for the cream and serve the soup chilled.

Serves 6

1 pound green asparagus

2 pounds fresh, young peas

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 large leek, sliced lengthwise then crosswise into ¼-inch pieces

1 cup heavy cream A small handful fresh, young pea-vine shoots, optional Truffle oil, optional

1.    Trim and discard tough woody ends from asparagus. Separate asparagus tips and set aside. 2.    Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add stock and thyme and bring to a gentle simmer. Add asparagus and peas and cook until tender but still bright green, about 5 minutes. 3.    Remove from heat, season well with salt and pepper and puree in batches until smooth, pouring soup through a wire mesh strainer if desired to remove any pureed bits. (You can set the bowl in ice to cool the soup rapidly, which will help keep the nice green color.) 4.    Stir in cream and serve immediately, garnished with asparagus tips or pea shoots and a drizzle of truffle oil. (Alternatively, chill soup and serve cold.)

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