We really should have called this site The Basil Blog. I just realized that the last 7 of 8 savory recipes I’ve posted all include basil. And even as I was reflecting on that, the most prominent thought that came to mind was wondering how delicious a basil brownie might be. (strawberry basil sauce – yes?)
So I make no apologies… it’s one of my favorite things, especially when my basil plant is flourishing like it is.
This is my attempt at contributing to The Food Matters project today. It’s white bean and asparagus soup day. However, it’s been in the 90’s here, so I just couldn’t bring myself to making a hot & creamy rosemary-ey soup. A chilled, bright, herb-packed soup was what was called to me instead… but check out what interpretations the others have made here.
serves 2 as a main, or 4 as a side
2 T olive oil
2 small leeks, light green & white parts, coarsley chopped
1 shallot, coarsley chopped
2 garlic cloves, coarsley chopped
splash of white wine (optional)
bag of frozen green garbanzo beans (about 2 cups)
1.5 cups vegetable broth
pinches of salt and pepper
1/2 cup almond milk
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
handful of parsley, some stems are ok
5 or 6 large basil leaves
splash of honey or agave (or sugar)
juice of half a lemon (or more or less, to taste)
splash of champagne or white wine vinegar (optional)
1/2 cup water if needed
walnut oil for drizzling on top
yogurt sauce (optional):
1/4 cup yogurt (of your choice, icelandic, greek, soy…)
splash of agave
splash of olive oil
squeeze of lemon
pinch of salt
In a medium to large saucepan heat oil and add leeks, shallots, and garlic and a few pinches of salt. Saute until translucent (3-4 minutes). Add a splash of white wine and scrape any bits that are starting to stick to the bottom of the pan. Let wine cook down for 30 seconds to a minute. Add frozen garabanzo beans and vegetable broth. Let simmer for 5 or so minutes until the garbanzos are thawed and tender. Add another few pinches of salt.
Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. (it’s important to add the herbs when cooled, you don’t want to cook them in this soup, they’ll be more vibrant here if they’re pureed in their raw form).
In a blender, puree the cooled soup mixture. Add almond milk, lemon juice, grated nutmeg, parsley, basil, honey, and pulse until the herbs are well chopped, but some flecks of green are still visible. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference (salt, pepper if it’s too bland, sugar if it’s too tangy, a splash of vinegar or more lemon if it’s too earthy, more olive oil if it’s not rich and silky enough).
Chill soup in the fridge for 30 minutes or up to a day.
Remove from fridge and stir in a bit of water if soup is too thick. Taste again and make adjustments. I added another squeeze of lemon and drizzled in some walnut oil.
Serve with garnish of chopped herbs, a drizzle of walnut oil, and a dollop of yogurt sauce.
stir ingredients together, taste and adjust to your liking.