April 6, 2010
This pea soup is layered with flavor, it epitomizes the green sprouting shoots of spring. The bright color alone announces that winter is left behind. Tangy feta, pureed sweet peas, spicy jalapeno and earthy savory, combined with the pop of fresh whole peas, is a celebration of texture and flavor and well, spring.
Fresh Pea Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small leek – white and green part (diced)
1 shallot – diced
1 small fennel – diced
1 quart home made chicken stock
2 lbs of organic peas* (24 ounces for puree, 8 ounces raw reserved for garnish)
Salt and pepper to taste
Israeli feta – crumbled
In a heavy bottomed skillet on medium heat; sauté leek, shallot and fennel in olive oil for about 10 minutes (careful not to brown) until soft and translucent. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Pour in peas (reserving 8 ounces for garnish) and simmer for 10 minutes. Puree with a hand blender until completely smooth and taste for the right amount of salt and pepper. Strain twice through a mesh sieve. Ladle into bowls and garnish with peas, feta, tendrils and a drizzle of jalapeno oil.
*Note: Frozen organic peas are great for this recipe and a great timesaver compared to their fresh counterparts. If you use frozen peas, just thaw in a bowl on the counter while you prepare the other ingredients.
Jalapeno Savory Oil
Savory is often overlooked as an herb, which is a shame because it has a great earthy taste. It looks like rosemary, but is not anywhere near as pungent. It’s flavor is best early in the springtime when it’s leaves are soft and fresh. Here it matches beautifully with the sweetness (yes, sweet!) of the jalapeno. I drizzle this oil on top of the soup but you can also use it over grilled meat, chicken or fish for a little pizzazz.
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup savory* (leaves pulled from stems)
2-3 jalapenos (depending on spiciness)
Remove stems and seeds from the jalapenos and dice. In a blender combine oil, savory and jalapenos.
*Note: If you don’t have savory in your garden, try your favorite herb. Mint, basil or tarragon would make good substitutions.