Minted Pea Soup with Smoked Salmon
- TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
Nick Nairn opts for frozen peas in his delicate soup because they tend to be sweeter and less starchy than fresh peas, not to mention faster to prepare. Nairn often makes the soup in advance; he chills it quickly in an ice-water bath before freezing it to retain the vivid green color.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 pound frozen peas, thawed
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint
- 3 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 pound Scottish smoked salmon in one piece, skinned and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
- In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the peas and the mint and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until silky smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan and season with salt. Gently rewarm the soup and ladle it into 4 shallow bowls. Garnish with the reserved peas, the smoked salmon and a dollop of crème fraîche and serve.
Gewürztraminer, an Alsatian grape that also produces terrific wines in the Pacific Northwest, has enough body to match this velvety soup, and a rich fruitiness that makes a nice counterpoint to the salty salmon.