Appetizers

Asparagus and Pea Soup with Smashed Pea Crostini

Asparagus and Pea Soup with Smashed Pea Crostini

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Chill Time: 30 minutes
  • Servings: 4

This asparagus and pea soup is made using local ingredients and is super refreshing. Top it off with a ricotta and smashed minted pea crostini and it will be the hit of all your al fresco meals!

Courtesy of Just Crumbs (https://justcrumbs.ca)

INGREDIENTS:

For the Crostini:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups fresh peas (you can sub in frozen peas)
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped mint
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1 baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic

For the Soup:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion , chopped (I used red because I like the added sweetness)
  • 2 lbs asparagus (2 bunches, tough ends snapped off), rinsed
  • 1 litre reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup fresh peas (you can use frozen)
  • 2 tbsp ricotta
  • Kosher salt and fresh pepper (to taste)

Directions:

  • For the smashed crostini mixture: In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add the water and red pepper flakes and heat until the water boils. Add the peas (2 cups) and cook until the peas are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the peas and place the peas in a food processor with the mint, salt, and pepper. Puree the pea mixture. Place the pea puree in a medium bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 30 minutes.
  • To begin the soup: In a large soup pot, add 1 tbsp oil and heat over low heat. Cook onion until softened.
  • Cut asparagus into bite sized pieces and add to the pot (reserving a few tips to top the soup if you wish) along with chicken broth and peas. Bring to a boil, cover and cook low about 20 minutes or until asparagus and peas are very tender.
  • Remove from heat, add ricotta and using your hand held blender, puree until smooth; season to taste (you can also use a stand-up blender but you will need to puree the mixture in two batches). Season to taste.
  • Meanwhile, to finish the crostini: Preheat the oven to 375° degrees F. Place the baguette slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in the oven until toasted and golden around the edges, about 10 minutes. While the crostini are still warm, drizzle the tops with extra-virgin olive oil. Holding a whole clove of garlic in your fingertips, rub the top of the crostini a few times to give a hint of garlic. To finish, top each of the crostini with about 1 tablespoon of the ricotta and about 1 tbsp pea puree.
  • Add one crostini to each bowl. Serve immediately!

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