In our minds there is no finer way to present the fresh flavor of spring peas. Served warm or chilled, this soup is one of the reasons we so eagerly welcome spring and her bounty of fresh vegetables each year. After the short season, the fresh spring peas can be replaced with a good quality frozen petit pois (or petite peas). Note that the cooking time will be dramatically shortened when using the frozen peas.
Serves 4 to 8
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 small, sweet onion chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 quart organic vegetable broth
4 cups fresh spring peas, shelled
Sea salt and fresh ground white pepper
Superfine sugar, to taste
Hazelnut or Pumpkin Seed oil, for garnish
Place a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add olive oil and butter and heat until the butter is melted. Stir to combine. Add the onions and carrots and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Do not let the onions brown.
Add the broth and the peas, cover and allow the mixture to come to a boil. Reduce heat, stir and partially cover. Simmer until the peas are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the soup, reserving the broth.
Transfer the vegetables to a blender and add about 1 cup of the broth. Purée until very smooth. Take care when processing hot foods in a blender, and process in batches if necessary.
To finish chilled purée:
Transfer the purée to a heavy-bottomed pot and place over medium heat. Heat the strained broth in another pot and slowly add small amounts to the pea purée until a thick but soup-like consistency is reached. Taste. Season with sugar.
For chilled soup, transfer contents of pot into a bowl and place in an ice bath. Stir occasionally until chilled.
Place ½ to 1 cup in a warmed (or chilled) soup bowl or saucer. Add a light drizzle of hazelnut or pumpkin seed oil for garnish. Serve immediately.
Recipe by Donna Marie Zotter