Monday, April 25, 2011

Chilled Garden Pea & Mint Soup

This soup just screams Spring to me with its beautiful color and freshness.  I love the change of seasons when you have an opportunity to cook with new ingredients, especially young, sweet vegetables.  I walk through the market and there are so many things that I want to make right now.  Not only is it a great time for peas, but also artichokes, carrots, fava beans, fennel, leeks, morel mushrooms and ramps.  Looks like I'll be making a Spring vegetable risotto soon! 

The key to making this soup is not to overcook the peas so that they retain their vibrant green color.  This soup is elegant and can be served as a first course for a special dinner, or enjoyed with a loaf of crusty bread.   Garnish it with mint oil or white truffle oil, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to bring out the natural sweetness of the peas! 


3 cups garden peas (approximately 3 pounds in the shell)
1/2 onion sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp all purpose flour
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup fresh mint leaves
3-4 cups baby spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
Note:  If you can't find fresh garden peas, then just purchase a bag of frozen peas.  It will still taste just as good and will be quicker if you're in a hurry.)

  • After you shuck the peas, blanch them in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes until soft and then immediately immerse in an ice bath to set the color.  Drain and set aside.  If you are using frozen peas, just rinse under cold water to thaw and set aside.
  • In a 5qt pan, heat olive oil, add onion, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper and cook on medium-low until onion softens.  Be careful not to brown the onion because you don't want to change the color of the soup.
  • Add garlic, flour and stir to combine.
  • Immediately add vegetable broth, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook on low for 5-10 minutes for flavors to combine.  Remove broth from heat, set aside and let cool for about 30 minutes.
  • While the broth is cooking, blanch mint and spinach for about 20 seconds, drain and set aside.
  • Add peas, spinach and mint to broth and blend until smooth in a blender in several batches.
  • Strain broth to remove any skins.  The soup should be the consistency of heavy cream.
  • Taste again and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.


No comments:

Post a Comment