At her popular Los Angeles dinner parties, my good friend Suzanne Rheinstein, an interior designer and New Orleans native, often serves a first course consisting of a generous scoop of jumbo lump blue crab napped with green goddess dressing.
I now serve what I think of as "Suzanne's Green Goddess Crabmeat" a lot, but for this dinner, which features an embarrassment of shellfish riches, an entire serving of crab would be too much. Instead, I inverted the dish by making a soup out of green goddess ingredients and using a few lumps of crab as garnish only. Even without the crab, the soup (inspired by a recipe from another pal, Nora Etheridge) is pretty great.
Serves 8 as a first course
1. Place the cucumber, avocado, scallions, parsley, tarragon leaves, and chopped chives into a food processor. Process for about 10 seconds. Add the chicken stock, sour cream, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne. Process for another 10 seconds, until the mixture is smooth and well blended.
2. Pour the soup into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, ladle into soup bowls or plates, garnish with a couple of lumps of the crabmeat, and sprinkle with the minced tarragon and minced chives.
NOTE: I like to serve this soup accompanied by thin slices of baguette brushed with melted butter, toasted, and sprinkled with sea salt. Make enough to offer with the Shrimp Malacca.