Not to be confused with the thick-as-fog, sits-in-your-stomach-like-a-brick winter-time version, this pea soup is subtle and light, fragrant with lemon and mint. The soup is only simmered long enough to cook through the peas and let the flavors come together; a handful of Parmesan at the end adds salt and a touch of creaminess.
One of my favorite ways to add lemon to soups or braises is by blanching the peels 2 to 3 times to remove the bitterness, which I've done here, before throwing them into the soup. If you're using the peels for a dish that won't be blended, slice them into juliennes for a beautiful garnish.
If you're using fresh peas and not serving the soup right away, cool down the soup over an ice bath and refrigerate immediately to avoid discoloration. An advantage of frozen peas is that they're better at keeping their color. If you're going the fresh pea route, throw the pods into the soup to add pea flavor, and then discard before blending.
About the Author: Suzanne Lehrer is a writer and recipe developer in New York and a recipe editor for Cooking Channel. When not curating her budding hot sauce collection, she puts her French Culinary Institute education to good use in kitchens all around town. Follow her recipes and cooking adventures at TheSuzChef.com and on twitter @the_suzchef.
- Yield:Serves 2 to 3
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:30 minutes
- Rind of 1/2 lemon, pith removed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 1 medium shallot, minced (about 1/4 cup)
- Kosher salt
- 10 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) fresh or frozen sweet peas
- 2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Grana Padano
- Freshly ground black pepper
Place lemon rind in shallow pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer, and then pour out water. Repeat once more, then set lemon rinds aside.
Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add onions, shallots, and a pinch of salt and cook until softened and translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add peas to saucepan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add lemon rinds and stock and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from the heat and stir in mint.
Let cool slightly, 5 to 10 minutes, then blend in blender or food processor until smooth. Add Parmesan and blend again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or chill for later use. Reheat in microwave until warm.