Every time I take a cooking class from Sacramento chef Evie Lieb I’m inspired for weeks with new ideas and recipes for bringing out the best from ingredients. This summer pea soup is an Evie inspiration, a re-creation of soup she often finds in restaurants throughout France during her summer trips. Unlike split pea soup, this soup uses frozen peas (Petite Peas are available at Trader Joe’s), and it cooks up in less than half an hour. It’s just as good cold as hot, so it’s ideal for the warm days of summer. An infusion of mint in the broth adds a delicious touch to the flavor of the peas.
- 1 large shallot, minced (about 3 Tbsp)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth (for vegetarian option)
- 2 sprigs of mint, about 6 inches in total stem length
- 1 pound of frozen petite peas (available at Trader Joe's)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Crème fraîche for garnish (can substitute sour cream diluted with cream)
- Strips of fresh mint for garnish
1 In a medium saucepan (2 1/2 to 3 quart) melt the butter on medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, but not browned, a couple minutes.
2 Add the broth and mint sprigs to the shallots, increase the heat and bring to a boil. Add the frozen peas and salt and pepper to taste. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the peas are just tender, 3-5 minutes.
3 Discard the mint and purée the soup in a blender until completely smooth. Blend in the cream. Taste and correct seasoning.
Reheat to serve warm, or chill to serve cold. Serve garnished with crème fraîche and mint strips.