Chilled English pea soup with crème fraiche recipe

Chilled English pea soup with crème fraiche


Difficulty level: 1 (out of 5)


Yield: four-4 ounce cups


1 -16 ounce bag frozen peas, thawed


1 clove minced garlic


2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar (white vinegar will work, but with less interesting flavor)


1 cup water


1/2 cup heavy cream


Extra virgin olive oil


Salt and pepper


Pea tendrils or baby spinach for garnish


Preparation:


1. Puree the peas, garlic and vinegar in a food processor or blender until smooth, adding the water as necessary to get the correct consistency.


2. Strain into a bowl using a fine mesh strainer, pushing the puree through with a rubber spatula.


3. Whisk the heavy cream into the pureed peas, and add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.


Presentation:


1. Ladle soup into 4 small cups, leaving room for garnish.


2. Drizzle the top with crème fraiche*. Roughly chop pea tendrils or spinach and toss with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.


3. Place small piles of the greens on the surface of each cup of soup.


*Crème fraiche needs about 24 hours to develop, so plan accordingly.


Crème fraiche:


1 cup heavy cream


1 tablespoon Buttermilk


Combine ingredients in a 2 cup container with a lid. Cover tightly and leave out at room temperature for 24 hours. Stir and store in refrigerator for up to 10 days. You will have extra, so use it like you would sour cream.

The thought of a cold soup can send chills up one's spine (pun intended). Isn't a soup supposed to be served hot, nourishing and warming to both body and soul? Give chilled soup a chance! In the summer it can be refreshing alternative to a hum-drum salad. It can also be easier to make than a hot soup — no need to slave over a pot, impatiently waiting for the flavors to meld and the broth to reduce.

Gazpacho, vichyssoise and borscht are well-known examples of cold soups, each unique in character and flavor. Variations of these such as watermelon gazpacho have been appearing on restaurant menus for a while now.

This recipe is my take on a delicious cold soup I had last summer at the restaurant Beast in Portland, Oregon. It has vibrant color and a sweet and savory creaminess and is simple to prepare using frozen peas and a blender or food processor.

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