With winter melting away, many of us are looking for lighter meals that fit with springtime appetites (and pre-summer diets). This is a gorgeous, tasty preparation – introducing your local market’s spring vegetables, as well as adding warm flavors to beat the chill that lingers in the air. It has the low-fat and flavorful benefits of poaching seafood and using the liquid for seasoning. It also incorporates a simple technique called “monter au beurre,” which involves whisking a small amount of butter into the broth at the last minute, producing a classic, satisfying velvety finish.
You will need:
- olive oil
- 1 large leek, greens removed, thinly sliced
- 3-5 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled, and chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 large can fat-free, low sodium chicken broth (or 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth)
- 3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 3/4 pound large sea scallops, cut in half horizontally
- 2 T chilled butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 1/2 cups chopped plum tomatoes
- 1 T fresh tarragon, minced
- 1 tsp grated lemon rind
- 1/2 t salt
- lots of freshly cracked black pepper
- ground chili pepper to taste
2. Add the wine and broth, and bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir in the shrimp and scallops, and bring quickly to a boil. Immediately reduce heat, and simmer for around 3 minutes, or until shrimp are done.
3. Remove the shrimp and scallops from the pot using a slotted spoon, and keep them warm on the side. Bring the broth mixture to a boil again, and allow to cook for 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, and add the butter, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until the butter is melted and a satiny sheen appears on the surface of the soup.
4. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
5. Divide the seafood among 4 bowls, and cover with broth. Serve immediately.
This goes beautifully with light, crusty French bread and a glass of rose; try serving it with a plate of steamed, chilled crudite: fresh asparagus, green beans, spring carrots and broccoli, with a small side of garlic aioli.