The idea for this little first course came from an attempt to introduce avocado to my 10-month old baby Aria. The cream soup consists of barley and toor lentils, avocado and spinach. It was so delicious, I thought I’d share the same dish with our dinner guests, with a few alterations, of course. I fancied up the recipe with fresh sautéed spicy crab and Vietnamese shrimp chips called bánh phồng tôm. The velvety texture of the soup against the tasty, cracker-like chips was heavenly.
I love the idea of sharing meals with my daughter, and I’ll share more of our personal favorites. I think I have a little foodie in the making!
1. Info for Spinach Avocado Soup with Shrimp Chips
- Cook Time: unavailable
- Total Time: unavailable
- Servings: 6
- Calories: unavailable
2. Ingredients for Spinach Avocado Soup with Shrimp Chips
- 1 whole fresh crab
- 2 red Thai chiles, seeded and puréed
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 small ripe avocados
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, blanched then transferred to an ice bath
- 2 tablespoons barley
- 1 tablespoon toor lentils (see tips)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 dozen shrimp chips, deep-fried
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
- For the ginger: Clean the ginger and remove any dirt. Peel the ginger root with a paring knife (or the edge of a spoon). Grate about 1 inch of ginger with a fine mesh microplane. Gather about 2 teaspoons of grated ginger root. Set aside.
- Wash the lentils; discard any that are floating or odd-shaped. Wash and rinse thoroughly in several water baths (about three times). Drain the lentils, removing as much of the water as possible. No soaking is required.
- In a small saucepan, place the barley and lentils. Add about 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a bubbly simmer. Cook for about 20-30 minutes; stir occasionally until the grains of grains of barley burst and the broth thickens. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool.
- Clean the crab, brush and rinse thoroughly. Place in a pot, add about 1-½ to 2 cups of water and boil for about 10 minutes (see tips). Transfer to an ice water bath for about 3 minutes to stop the cooking process. Drain and discard all the liquid.
- Remove and discard the abdominal flaps (the triangle-shaped tail). Lift and separate the back fin with the rest of the claws by placing a large tablespoon at the bottom of the crab. Remove and discard the "lungs" (also known as Devil’s fingers; they have a spongy texture and are inedible).
- Gently remove the crab meat from the back fins (the inner chambers are filled with meat). Gently crack the claws using a meat tenderizer mallet and gather all the crab meat in a large mixing bowl.
- Heat the olive oil in a wok. Add the ginger, garlic and red onions and fry until golden. Add the crab and stir until fragrant. Add 2 teaspoons red chili powder and the red chiles. Turn off the heat and let cool for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cracked pepper.
- Peel the avocados and chop them into cubes.
- In a blender, combine the spinach, avocados and ½ cup of barley porridge. Mix until the machine flows smoothly. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Spoon the soup into cups.
- Top with a "quenelle" of spicy crab: using 2 teaspoons, gather one portion of the crab mixture in one spoon. Scrape the loose mixture from the sides using the other spoon. Repeat between the 2 spoons until the mound is tightly packed. Slide the mound onto the green soup and decorate with pieces of shrimp chips.
- Serve at room temperature with more shrimp chips and crab on the side.
- Bon appétit!