Sweet Pea Soup

Sweet Pea Soup

A famous soup, repeated many times.  The trick is keeping it green with appropriate flavor, adding more peas than required and maybe a little spinach may be necessary.  I like it veloute, or velvet to the tongue.  Each time and palate is different in preparation.  Taste is perception, make it memorable.

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1# sweet peas, blanched till tender,(quality frozen peas can be substituted)*
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sliced shallots
4 cloves fresh garlic (smashed)
1 ½ cup dry white wine
3 cups parmesan and pea stock  (vegetable stock infused with parmesan rind and pea pods from above)
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup fresh basil leaves
juice of 1 lemon
¾ cup quality parmesan cheese (grated)
½ cup butter
salt and pepper to taste

Method:
In a small soup pot over medium heat add olive oil, shallots and garlic and
sauté for 3 or 4 minutes, being sure not to brown, add white wine and reduce
by fifty percent, then add pea and parmesan stock and let simmer gently for 20 minutes.
Remove pot from heat and allow to cool, thirty minutes or so, once cool add
the mint and basil leaves to the chicken stock base and stir to wilt.
At this point and in batches you are going to puree the peas and soup base
together in a blender until smooth*
If you wish you can strain the soup through a sieve for a smooth consistency or
not and keep it rustic.
Once the soup has been processed it is important to cool it down, to ensure
a vibrant green color the soup is not heated any further until just before
serving, at which point bring the soup to a gentle boil and add the parmesan,
butter, lemon, salt and pepper to taste of course and whisk until incorporated.
Serve immediately and enjoy.

Serving suggestions, a nice dollop of lemon zest infused crème fraiche and
fresh crab or lobster meat to garnish.

*if using frozen peas be sure to thaw them before using
*before turning your blender on, be sure it is not on high, green pea soup is
hard to clean off of the ceiling.

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