Chilled English Pea Soup with Prosciutto Crisps

Ham and peas--a classic combination--star in this verdant soup. It's worth seeking out the freshest English peas, which are in season in the spring and early summer. Then, gild the lily with a finishing touch of the best-quality olive oil.

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 4 thin slices of prosciutto (2 ounces)
  • Ice
  • 4 cups shelled English peas (3 1/2 pounds in the pod)
  • Simple Syrup
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat and arrange the prosciutto in an even layer on top. Bake for about 2 hours in the center of the oven, flipping once, until dehydrated and very crisp. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool, then break into pieces.
  2. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water. In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the peas until just tender, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the peas to the ice water to cool. Reserve 1 3/4 cups of the cooking water.
  3. Drain the peas and add to a blender. With the machine on, add the reserved cooking water in a thin stream and puree until very smooth. (You may not need all of the reserved water.) Blend in simple syrup to taste. Strain the soup through a fine sieve and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the prosciutto crisps and a drizzle of olive oil and serve.

Make Ahead

The soup can be refrigerated overnight.


For faster prosciutto crisps: Preheat the oven to 350?. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, arrange the slices of prosciutto in a single layer and bake until crisp, about 17 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool, then break into large pieces.

Suggested Pairing

Unoaked, full-bodied white.

Photo © John Kernick Published July 2014

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