Friday, March 27, 2009

Minted Snap Pea and Asparagus Bisque

At the Vernal Equinox Party this past weekend, I made a seasonal favorite of mine, Minted Snap Pea and Asparagus Bisque. It's one of those harbingers of spring, and the most electrifying green you can imagine seeing in a bowl.

I think I originally got the idea after watching Giada De Laurentiis' Everyday Italian show on the Food Network. She made it with prosciutto and heavy cream (of course... she's Italian), which made me wonder if it would work with miso and soy milk instead. I think it does.

So my lighter and more animal-friendly version sticks to the original main ingredients of plump fresh snap peas, young tender asparagus and leeks, all seasonal veggies that are perfect for transitioning from winter to spring.

Minted Snap Pea and Asparagus Bisque (serves 2-4)
approx. 2 cups snap peas (yes – the plump, sweet snap peas and not the thin snow peas)
approx. 2 cups asparagus, diced
2 cups soy milk and/or rice milk
1 Tbl mellow white miso
1-2 cups water
1 leek, cut thinly and rinsed thoroughly
1-2 cloves garlic
vegetarian bouillon
olive oil
sea salt
fresh mint

I don’t have exact measurements since I made a HUGE amount, but I’d estimate 1 big bunch of asparagus and an equal amount of snap peas. Blanch peas in boiling water for about 2 minutes, then rinse in cold water. Blanch asparagus for about 1 minute, then rinse in cold water. Set both aside. In a large pot, sautĂ© leek and garlic in olive oil until soft. Stir in about 2 cups rice or soy milk, miso and a little low sodium vegetarian bouillon (Vegebase is good). Let cool slightly, then gradually pour milk mixture along with snap peas and asparagus into a blender. Puree in a high-speed blender for several minutes until smooth. You may need to do this in several batches. Pour mixture back into pot and skim foam off the top. Chop a big bunch of fresh mint and stir into the soup, then heat for about 10 minutes before serving.

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