I often find that chefs become a bit over-eager in March. With the warming weather, they want to introduce lighter flavor profiles and spring vegetables as soon as possible. But the chilly weather can linger and the available spring produce is not always up to snuff.
During a recent weekend visit to Chablis in Burgundy, I tasted a lovely Asparagus-Truffle Soup — a refreshing example of a chef perfectly navigating this period of culinary tension.
The early green asparagus from Provence was pureed with just enough cream to make it float on the palate. The truffles were a gentle reminder of winter, giving the asparagus better depth of flavor. The genius in the dish, however, was the tangy arugula salad, its sprigs adding just the right amount of texture and contrast. All in all, a perfect blend of the warmth of winter with the freshness of spring.
Of course, as we were in Chablis, the wine was local. The 2009 Chablis Teté d’Or from Billaud-Simon offered just the right amount of chalky citrus (lemon and grapefruit) tang to counterbalance the soup.