Fresh Sweet Pea Soup
Peas are one of my comfort foods. Growing up Italian and not exactly affluent, macaroni and peas, rice and peas and , well , a bowl of peas with butter and cheese was my Foie Gras. Now that I live the Hudson Valley, I can relish the spring because iknow the peas are coming. This is a soup that ould be made vegetarian, vegan, or with chicken stock and could also be garnished with crisp prosciutto or crumbled bacon. It is all about the peas.
Picking peas is the essence of Slow Food. When you take your time to pick the peas, the soup means more and tastes better.
Makes ½ gallon
5 pounds fresh peas, picked ( will yield about 4 cups cups after shelling)
2 spring onions with tops, or 1 bunch of scallions and 2 shallots
¼ cup minced chives
3 sprigs fresh thyme, picked (about 2 level tablespoons pickled thyme leaves)
1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter or olive oil or a mix
6 cups veggie stock or chicken stock
Fresh dry aged cheese like Sprout Creek Toussiant or Grana Padana, for garnish
Wash and mince the onions end to end. If you cannot get the spring onions, finely mince the shallot and chop the scallions, including the green parts.
In a heavy pot saute the onions in the butter and/or olive oil mix (or just oil for Vegan)
Until softened. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add a little salt and pepper to season the broth. Now add the peas, parsley and thyme all at once and cook for 3 minutes or until the peas soften but are still green. . Remove from heat and puree in a blender until very smooth.
When ready to serve, return to heat and adjust seasoning being generous with the black pepper. Don’t let it cook too long or you will loose the vibrant green hue.
Serve hot and green, garnished with softly grated cheese, or creme fraiche...