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Chilled Spring Pea Soup
© Quentin Bacon

Chilled Spring Pea Soup

  • TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN
  • SERVINGS: 6
  • FAST
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE

Chef Way Daniel Boulud puts this deliciously light and clean-tasting soup—a mix of sweet peas, favas, pea shoots, snap peas and snow peas—on the menu each spring. The recipe appears in the Café Boulud Cookbook (Scribner).

Easy Way Skip the labor-intensive fresh favas, as well as the snow peas and pea shoots. Instead, just use sugar snaps and frozen baby peas.

  1. 8 slices of bacon
  2. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  3. 2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
  4. 1 onion, thinly sliced
  5. 1 leek, white and tender green parts only, thinly sliced
  6. 5 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  7. Two 4-inch rosemary sprigs
  8. Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  9. 1/2 pound sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
  10. Two 10-ounce boxes frozen baby peas
  11. 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  12. 1 cup heavy cream
  13. 1 garlic clove, minced
  1. In a medium soup pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat until browned and crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a plate. Pour off the fat in the pot.
  2. In the same pot, heat the olive oil. Add the celery, onion and leek and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock, 4 slices of the cooked bacon, 1 rosemary sprig and a pinch each of salt and white pepper. Simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes. Discard the bacon and rosemary. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a blender.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the sugar snaps and cook for 3 minutes. Add the frozen baby peas and the parsley and cook just until heated through, about 1 minute; drain. Add the sugar snaps, baby peas and parsley to the blender and puree until smooth, adding a few tablespoons of the broth to loosen the mixture. Transfer the soup and the remaining broth to a large bowl set in a larger bowl of ice water to cool.
  4. In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream, garlic and remaining rosemary sprig to a boil. Simmer over low heat until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Strain the garlic cream into a bowl and let cool.
  5. Ladle the chilled pea soup into bowls and drizzle with the garlic cream. Crumble the remaining 4 slices of bacon into each bowl and serve.
Make Ahead The soup and cream can be refrigerated separately for up to 2 days.

Suggested Pairing

Brisk, lively Austrian Grüner Veltliner.