Spring is in the air, and the farmers’ market is bright with stacks of lovely green asparagus. Gazpacho is usually made with tomato as the base, but I thought it might be fun to try a little twist. This chilly soup is just the thing to liven up a quick dinner with some seasonal flair. Make it the day before; it’s even better after it rests.
makes about 3 cups
Big handful of asparagus, trimmed (3/4 lb after trimming)
4 green onions, rinsed well & chopped, white & light green parts only
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small cucumber, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup cold water
Blanch the asparagus very briefly and immediately immerse in an ice-water bath until cool; drain well & chop. Puree asparagus & all other ingredients except olive oil & water in food processor until smooth. With machine running, add olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Repeat with water. Chill for at least 2 hours; thin with more water to achieve desired consistency. Taste for salt & serve.