Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Chilled Spring Pea Soup with Garlic Cream and Bacon
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This lovely soup was originally created by Daniel Boulud, but has been made more kitchen friendly by recipe developers at Food and Wine magazine. They have labeled it a staff favorite. Their simplified version of the soup can be made in less that an hour, and those of you who entertain will be pleased to know it can be made up to 48 hours before serving. I've made modest changes to the recipe and added a cup of whole milk and half a lemon to the ingredient list. I found the pureed soup to be very thick and fell back on French technique to lighten and brighten it. While I used milk, additional chicken stock could also be used. Like all chilled soups, this one will need more salt than you might suspect. Start with a teaspoon of kosher salt and move forward in small increments until it tastes right to you. While I suspect the pros use white pepper, I've found a 1/4 teaspoon of the black stuff works perfectly well. The garlic cream is what makes this soup really special. While it is used as a garnish, it adds surprising flavor and color contrast to the soup. This is a lovely soup and I plan to serve it as a first course for our Easter feast. It will bring a perfect touch of spring to my table. Without further ado, here's the recipe.
Chilled Spring Pea Soup with Garlic Cream and Bacon...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of of Daniel Boulud and Food and Wine magazine
8 slices of bacon
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
5 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
Two 4-inch rosemary sprigs
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
Two 10-ounce boxes frozen baby peas
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 cup whole milk
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup heavy cream
1 clove, minced
1) In a medium soup pot, cook bacon over moderate heat until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer bacon to a plate. Pour off the fat in pot.
2) In same pot, heat olive oil. Add celery, onion and leek and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 7 minutes. Add chicken stock, 4 slices of cooked bacon, 1 rosemary sprig and a pinch each of salt and white pepper. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes. Discard bacon and rosemary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a blender.
3) Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add sugar snaps and cook for 3 minutes. Add frozen baby peas and parsley and cook just until heated through, about 1 minute; drain. Add sugar snaps, baby peas and parsley to blender and puree until smooth, adding a few tablespoons of broth to loosen mixture. Transfer soup and remaining broth to a large bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water to cool. Add lemon juice . If soup is too thick, thin with milk until desired consistency is reached.
4) In a small saucepan, bring heavy cream, garlic and remaining rosemary sprig to a boil. Simmer over low heat until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Strain garlic cream into a bowl and let cool.
5) Ladle the chilled pea soup into bowls and drizzle with garlic cream. Crumble remaining 4 slices of bacon into each bowl and serve. Yield: 6 servings.
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