2 April 2014

The Virtual Supper Club Celebrates Easter with a Spring Pea Soup with Crab Flan

Spring Pea Soup with Crab Flan from Cooking Light
Spring is when everything seems to come alive!!!!! The days are longer and the markets begin to burst with the colours of the bountiful fruits and vegetables of the season. For those who are lucky enough to live near a farmers market as I am, we would be hard pressed not to be aware of which fruits are at the peak of their season. Pods of fresh peas and stalks of beautifully green asparagus will cook beautifully in a sauce of lemon zest, butter, mint and tossed with pappardelle or fettucini noodles. This is the time to enjoy fresh rhubarb, sweet garden peas and furled fiddleheads . It is the season for escarole and a wide variety of lettuce hand plucked from the garden for green salads. I am chomping at the bit and may even plant mesclun on my patio. The delightful fragrance of chives, mint, chervil and tarragon fill the air to season your dishes. All of these tastes of Spring are bursting from our gardens, forests, markets and window boxes.

Welcome back to this months Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club where we celebrate Easter, a theme chosen by our very own Jerry of  of A Life, Lived.  We always appreciate you joining us for this monthly event where we get together on the first Wednesday of every month to create a delicious meal from appetizers to dessert with a theme in mind. Ultimately their love of food, blogging and their commitment to a health conscious lifestyle is what has brought these ladies and one gent from Canada and the United States ( joining east and west and north and south) together. Our very first ever Virtual Supper Club was originally sponsored by Cooking Light magazine and although the faces may have changed since its birth in 2009 we have always had a love for Cooking Light magazine which has an emphasis on healthy eating and living. Moving on to its 5th year this is a team effort where we continue to share a love for healthy eating and living. We have come full circle with Shelby one of the original members rejoining our group. We look forward each month to strengthening our bonds, and enjoying each others company virtually. The party goes on for days!!

Here at the Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club we have dreamed up a menu on the healthier side without giving up any of the comfort you find in delicious food. This months menu celebrates another Spring and a new beginning with a tantalizing Easter menu.



Let's see what we have brought to the table this month….

Jerry of A Life, Lived stops the show with a Baked Ham with Bourbon Cranberry Glaze.


I brought along a decadent Spring Pea Soup with Crab Flan. I have wanted to try this recipe for some time and I am happy I took the plunge. You will find the recipe below.The beauty of cooking with ingredients that are freshest in the Spring months are their pure simplicity. The standout flavours are the fresh, natural ingredients themselves... the sweet taste of a carrot or the pop of a freshly shelled pea. The soup recipe below calls for fresh garden peas but I moved over to frozen. This is an excellent way to rush Spring since fresh garden peas are not ready quite yet. 

Susan of The Spice Garden  "smashed it" with Smashed Potatoes with Goat Cheese and Chives and and an Asparagus Saladwith Pickled Peppers. Spring is here!!!

Sarah of All Our Fingers in the Pie ended our meal with a bang with a Ricotta Semifreddo. with one of her favourite prairie ingredients.

This is a recipe from Cooking Light magazine. Adding spinach to pea soup allows the soup to retain its bright green colour. I always think pea soup benefits from a squeeze of fresh lemon juice so add that in also if you like.

**Spring Pea Soup with Crab Flan**

Flan:

1/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup lump crabmeat, drained and shell pieces removed (about 4 ounces)
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray

Soup:

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion ( I used leeks, white part only, chopped)
1 garlic clove, minced
3 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 cups shelled green peas, divided (about 2 1/2 pounds unshelled green peas)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup torn spinach
2 cups chopped tomato
Juice 1/2 lemon (if desired)

Preheat oven to 325°.

Coat 4 (6-oz) custard cups or ramekins with cooking spray. In a small bowl combine milk, egg and 2 egg whites, and stir with a whisk. Stir in crabmeat, green onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Divide the mixture evenly among the ramekins.

Place cups on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Remove cups from baking sheet. Loosen the edges of custards with a knife or rubber spatula. Place a small plate, upside down, on top of each cup; invert onto plates. Keep warm.

To prepare soup, heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in broth, 2 cups peas, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until peas are tender. Cool slightly. Place the soup and spinach in a blender, and process until smooth. Set aside and keep warm. Add 1/2 cup peas to pan, and cook, covered, 4 minutes or until just tender.

Place 1/2 cup chopped tomato into each of 4 soup bowls. Arrange 1 flan on top of the tomato, and ladle 1 cup soup around each flan. Top each serving with 2 tablespoons steamed peas.

Jim Fobel, Cooking Light
MAY 2000

Serves 6 - 8


You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

18 comments:

  1. A fabulous recipe! This refined soup looks and sounds absolutely amazing. So spring-like and delicious.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. Your gorgeous pea soup with crab flan is a marvelous way to celebrate spring. Bring on the sunshine and warm weather.
    Sam

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  3. This dish looks full of simple elegance ... simple fresh flavours that are combined perfectly ... love how the tomato 'stages' the flan in the soup bowl and then works with it in those last bite of flan after the soup has been scooped up ... such a cool recipe! This month's menu is SUCH a show stopper !!!

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    1. I agree Susan. It was a showstopper!

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  4. Beautiful!! Reading your post and seeing those wonderful photos make me forget that it is pouring rain outside! I will certainly be saving this recipe for some fine spring dining.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  5. What an unusual and delicious combination, Val! The color of the soup is gorgeous too.

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  6. Spring in a bowl. How absolutely beautiful and that flan...ay ay ay!

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  7. Spring is definitely a super exciting time of year! I love the sound of this meal. The crab flan is especially intriguing.

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  8. whoever heard of crab flan?!? what an appealing and unique recipe.

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  9. I feel like spring is all about the veggies, then comes summer with her fruits!

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  10. I don't think it counts as spring in my house until I eat pea soup. Thanks for the reminder. GREG

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  11. I love your Virtual Supper project. And this dish is an absolute dream. Your photos, well, they are just darn glorious. Congratulations on a truly beautiful and most inspiring article.

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  12. Fresh peas are my favorite early spring vegetable and Dungeness crab is plentiful right now so this will be on my menu very soon, Val. This is an unusual combination I can't wait to try.

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  13. Hey Val, I was wondering where you were:) The tulips look great, makes me want to go out and get some.

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  14. What a nice fresh recipe to welcome a season of hope and renewal!

    I think we were all ready for spring this year - it was a great menu!

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  15. Great dishes for spring! Love your photos too!

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  16. This looks like the perfect Spring soup, I love the color of it.

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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