Carrot Gazpacho with Coriander Crème Fraîche and Spring Garden Flowers
Bartlett Pear Inn, Easton, MD
"The power and nuance behind this refreshing garden soup relies strongly on the quality and freshness of the carrots. We intentionally pull these carrots out of the dirt in the morning before the sun strikes to retain the morning’s dew that moistens and nourishes the great vegetable." —Jordan Lloyd
- Carrot Gazpacho:
- 2 pounds carrots, peeled, trimmed, and medium-diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, diced
- 1 celery rib, peeled and medium-diced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, trimmed of all pith and medium-diced
- 1/2 cucumber, peeled and medium-diced
- 1/4 cup chopped red onion
- 6 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon celery seeds
- 1 teaspoon chile flakes
- 1 to 2 cups purified cold water
- 1/2 cup light olive oil
- Edible spring garden flowers (such as nasturtiums, pansies, or vegetable flower sprouts) for garnish
- Coriander Crème Fraîche:
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- ½ cup crème fraîche
Prepare the carrots: fill a large pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Cook the carrots in boiling salted water for no more than 2 minutes. Strain and let rest in the strainer to cool. (Note: do not dunk carrots in ice water—this will wash off some of their flavor). It’s important to barely cook the vegetable. The light cooking will give the gazpacho body and texture while retaining all of the carrot’s nutrients.
In a blender or food processor, purée the carrots, garlic, celery rib, bell peppers, cucumbers, red onions, Champagne vinegar, Dijon mustard, celery seeds, and chile flakes. Adjust the speed to medium-high. Slowly add in the 1 to 2 cups cold water until the desired thickness is achieved.
Add the olive oil in a steady stream until fully incorporated. Taste it and season with salt. Chill the soup in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving. The colder a gazpacho is, the better.
Make the coriander crème fraîche: toast the coriander seeds in a 350°F oven for 8 minutes, or lightly toast on the stove using a sauté pan set over low heat. Blend the toasted coriander seeds in a spice grinder and mix with the crème fraîche. Season with salt to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Pour the gazpacho into espresso or demitasse cups as an hors d’oeuvre or an appetizer bowl for a full course. Garnish with a dollop of the coriander crème fraîche and with edible flowers. Finish with a drizzle of high-quality olive oil and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.