Chilled English pea soup with crème fraiche recipe

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.