This soup gets all its flavor from the peas. If you can't find really sweet fresh ones, you're better off with frozen baby peas.
Cold Soup Recipes
3 quarts water
4 pounds fresh peas, shelled (4 cups shelled)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3/4 cup diced crustless day-old country bread (3/8-inch dice)
How to Make It
Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Salt the water, then add the peas and bring the water back to a boil. Cook over moderate heat until very tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the peas, reserving the cooking liquid. Set aside 1/4 cup of peas.
In a food processor, combine the remaining peas with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid and puree until smooth. Work the puree through a fine sieve into a large bowl. Discard the contents of the sieve. Stir in about 4 cups of the cooking liquid and season with salt and pepper; add more cooking liquid if necessary to make a nice, creamy soup. Refrigerate the soup until cold, at least 2 hours.
In a large skillet, melt the butter in the vegetable oil. Add the diced bread and brown the cubes on all sides over moderately high heat, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the croutons on paper towels.
Ladle the cold soup into bowls and garnish each with a few of the croutons and reserved peas. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with pepper and serve.
The soup can be prepared through Step 2 and refrigerated for up to 1 day. The croutons can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Try a Blanc de Blancs. This elegant wine harmonizes beautifully with the delicate taste of English peas.
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