In honor of this gorgeous weather and it being May 19th, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day, I decided to make a zesty, cooling chilled fiddleheads-asparagus soup.
Now, back to fiddleheads. What are they exactly? I had wondered the same thing myself for the last few seasons and have just looked at them as an oddity. A vegetable taken from the furled fronds of a young fern, fiddleheads usually appear in the early springtime and look like a tightly curly "q", similar to a snail shell. Used both in Asian cooking and North American, fiddleheads are extremely versatile in its culinary use. I am extremely interested in trying it in an Indonesian dish called gulai paku which are fiddleheads cooked in a rich coconut sauce mainly spiced with lemongrass, galangal, chili pepper and turmeric leaves. I will save that for another day though! Tonight, it will be featured in my chilled soup! Fiddleheads have the sweet, lemony, grassy taste of asparagus which is why I paired them here with asparagus in my cold buttermilk-based soup. The use of the buttermilk gave the soup a nice tang with a bit of richness from the créme fraîche added at the very end.
This chilled fiddlehead-asparagus soup is the perfect, refreshing light lunch or starter on a hot summer day. You can also serve them for your next cocktail party served in short shot glasses, topped with a sprig of fiddlehead or asparagus on a toothpick. Tonight, mine will be enjoyed al fresco with a glass a cool white wine and my marinated all-natural, free range poussin from Griggstown Quail Farm. What a perfect way to close the first Food Revolution Day!
CHILLED FIDDLEHEADS-ASPARAGUS SOUP
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 cup fiddleheads, cleaned thoroughly and brown ends trimmed
1 cup asparagus, cut 1-inch long
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 cup vegetable stock
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp créme fraîche (optional)
1. In a medium size pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add fiddleheads, asparagus and garlic and saute until slightly softened. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Then lower heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.