Minted Pea Soup
This is the perfect soup to bridge the winter and spring seasons.
This soup could not be easier to make thanks to the use of frozen peas and the help of a blender. The result is a restaurant-quality dish in both taste and appearance, ideal for a first or main course. It's equally delicious served hot at the end of winter's chill, or served cold on a newly warm spring day. Butter, onions, and frozen sweet peas come together to make a simple yet refined bisque when combined with stock and cream. Do not be shy when seasoning the soup; lots of salt and pepper will make all the difference. If a plant-based recipe is what you seek, this recipe is easily adaptable.
1 cup chopped yellow or white onion (or 1 medium onion)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds frozen peas
4-6 cups chicken stock
1 cup packed fresh mint leaves, washed
1 cup heavy cream
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly ground black pepper
ILOC tip: to make this soup plant-based, use oil instead of butter, vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, and coconut milk instead of heavy cream.
1. In a stock pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter until it foams. Add the chopped onion and sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt. Cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the peas and 4 cups of the chicken stock and simmer uncovered until the peas are tender and warm, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mint and remove the pan from the heat.
2. Using a blender, puree the soup in batches for 1-2 minutes were batch, until very smooth.
ILOC tip: be careful when working with hot liquids in a blender by placing a cloth over the blender lid to avoid an explosion as the motor runs.
3. Return the soup to a clean pot or bowl. Add the cream, and then kosher salt and pepper to taste. Use the remaining two cups of chicken stock to thin the pureed soup, as desired. Warm over medium heat to serve immediately, or store in an airtight container and chill overnight to serve cold.
ILOC tip: if you want the soup to be as refined as possible, push the pureed soup through a fine mesh sieve until only the dry solids remain. Discard the solids.
4. To serve, pour or ladle the soup in bowls. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and microgreens, plus a few drops of heavy cream and some freshly ground black pepper.
Makes 6-8 servings.