Clockwise from top left: unsalted Danish butter; two zucchini, diced; two ribs celery (leaves and stalks), chopped; one onion, diced; 1 T. chopped fresh marjoram; 1 T. chopped fresh thyme; sour cream; 2 cups homemade chicken stock.
Onions sauteed in butter, roughly 4-5 minutes or until they change color.
Combine vegetables and herbs; drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil; sweat covered over medium-low heat, roughly 7 to 8 minutes or until zucchini has softened.
Add chicken stock. Canned is fine, but I prefer homemade because you have quality control.
Bring to a gentle simmer, about 3-4 minutes. Cool slightly.
Working in batches, puree in a blender and transfer to a pot. Add sour cream and light cream and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning.
The recipe I originally learned calls for a bechamel sauce composed of unsalted butter, 2 T. flour and 1 cup scalding milk, then combined with the stock. The sauce is used as a thickening agent. If you want to make this version, make a basic roux with the butter and flour, then add milk a little at a time, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, then combine with vegetables in a blender and proceed as above. Omit the sour cream and light cream. I prefer this version shown here, however.
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Scallops and Frisee Salad
1 pat unsalted butter, melted.
Sear scallops over medium-high heat, on both sides, roughly 2 to 3 minutes; transfer.
Half a shallot, minced and 1 T. capers, sauteed in pan drippings. Cook until shallots are golden brown; transfer.
Deglaze pan with 1/4 c. fresh squeezed orange juice. Whisk in 1 T. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces. Reduce over medium-high heat or until juice has thickened to a glaze, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Assembly: Plate frisee, scallops and shallot garnish; drizzle with orange reduction, garnish with chopped herbs and serve immediately.
This recipe makes 2 appetizer servings or 1 entree.
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