“This soup reminds me of the great chilled soups of Spain, but with a nice twist, featuring Spring vegetables and sweet crab.” — Chef Seamus Mullen
Chilled soup of leeks with soft-shell crab
- 1 pound baby leeks, bulbs and greens separated
- 2 shallots, finely minced
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 6 tablespoons champagne vinegar or sweet white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
- Espelette pepper or Aleppo pepper to taste
- kosher salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- 4 fresh soft-shell crabs
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 1/2 cup rice flour
- oil for frying
- 1 cup Spring peas, lightly blanched and shocked in ice water
- 1/2 cup basil leaves, torn into small pieces
- 1/2 cup mint leaves, torn into small pieces
- In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium low heat. Coarsely chop the baby leek bulbs and gently sweat. Add shallots and garlic and cook until translucent, without any color, about 3 minutes. Add the vinegar and reduce for 1 minute. Let the mixture cool and then transfer to the Breville blender, using a rubber spatula to make sure you get all the bits.
- Add the pine nuts and 1 cup of the vegetable stock and purée until smooth. Add the remaining vegetable stock, purée on high until fully incorporated. Lower the speed and drizzle in 1 cup of olive oil, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and creamy. Season with salt, pepper and lemon zest and set aside to cool in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. While the soup is chilling, purée the greens of the baby leeks with the remaining 1 cup of olive oil to make a nice, bright green herb oil.
- Once fully chilled, pre-heat the Smart fryer to 325°. Season the crabs with salt and pepper and dust with chickpea and rice flour. Fry until crispy, about 3 minutes. Set aside on a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Chill 4 large dinner bowls. Cut each crab in half and put 1 crab in each bowl. Add the chilled soup to each bowl, sprinkle with the blanched peas and garnish with herbs and espelette pepper. Finish with a drizzle of the green oil made from the tops of the baby leeks.