Summer Solstice Soup: Chilled Spring Allium Soup with Asparagus & Fennel

PHEW!  Talk about a crazy-busy, non-profit event filled, make me super-behind on my blog summer!  Now that it’s fall, I’m going to try to do some catch-up.  Therefore, here’s the continuation of the series of dishes from our annual summer solstice wine pairing dinner.  So sorry about the obviously non-seasonal nature of this soup recipe coming out in the fall… but I want to get it done and will completely forget by next spring (and will be on to the next great dish, anyway…).  Might I recommend you post it to Pinterest on your “To Try” board and refer back when the asparagus and garlic scapes are fresh from your local farmer’s market?  Anyhoo, here you go… enjoy!

Chilled Spring Allium Soup with Asparagus & Fennel

1 bunch asparagus
1 bunch green onions
1 bunch garlic scapes
2 bulbs fennel
2 leeks
4 tablespoons butter
6+ cups broth

2 cups plain yogurt
juice of 2 lemons
salt & pepper to taste

Chop all the veggies coarsely.  Melt butter in large soup pot and sauté leeks for a few minutes, then add the fennel and continue cooking until almost tender.  Add the broth and bring to a boil.  Add the asparagus, green onions, garlic scapes, and cook 3-4 minutes until asparagus is just tender, but still bright green.  Transfer in batches to a blender (or better yet, a Vitamix) and blend until smooth (being very careful not to burn yourself).

Put blended soup back in the pot and chill.  When ready to serve, add the yogurt, lemon juice, salt & pepper and mix well.  Adjust flavors to your liking and serve!  It’s pretty with a little chive flower on top, or the feathery greens from the fennel bulbs, plus a drizzle of olive oil and a little lemon zest.

Leek Zucchini Fritters (gluten-free)

Ramps (wild leeks), a fun early season local treat

I have to say, these babies are so tasty I’d like to make them every week. In fact, maybe I will. When cooked traditionally, they are fried and delicious (thus “fritters”). But if you’re not feelin’ the oil, you can also cook them like little pancakes on a dry griddle and they’re still completely satisfying. I’d argue that some oil (when properly chosen) is good for us sometimes, but if you’ve been overdoing it recently, perhaps the lighter version is for you.

The inspiration for this recipe started with a friend mentioning leek fritters a few months ago and it getting stuck in the back of my brain, only to pop out when I saw ramps (wild leeks that come out early in the season) being offered on Idaho’s Bounty, our local/sustainable food co-op. After perusing a recipe in Ottolenghi’s beautiful book, Plenty (if you don’t have it, it’s terrific for inspiration!), and Googling about, here’s what I came up for a gluten-free version, with a little extra vegetable-y goodness from our old friend, the zucchini.

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