Spring Pea and Mint Soup
With fresh peas in season in both summer and fall, you'll have plenty of opportunities to make this English pea soup. Adapted from a recipe by local chef Diana Dillard, this recipe was served as the "Warm Amuse" at the 2016 final dinner by students graduating from the Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Culinary Arts program. Read more about the annual event in the article Culinary Prowess on Display at Final Dinner, including links to some of the other recipes.
- Heat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Add the butter and olive oil to the pan.
- Add the onion and sweat for about 4 minutes or until tender.
- Add the garlic and sweat for 2 minutes, until tender but not brown.
- Add the potatoes, a big pinch of salt and white pepper, and the stock and cream. Simmer this mixture for about 20 minutes or until the potato is soft.
- Taste for salt and pepper and correct if needed.
- Fill another 4-quart pot with water. Add a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Add the peas and blanche for less than a minute in the boiling water. Drain the peas through a strainer or colander, then place in an ice bath to halt the cooking
- When ready to serve, put 1½ ounces of peas into the blender along with the mint leaves and ½ cup of the hot soup base. Blend until smooth.
- Add the blended soup back to the pot and re-warm. Taste the soup, adjust salt, pepper and add more lemon juice if needed.
- In a small mixing bowl, add the creme fraiche with zest and juice from half a lemon.
- Serve warm soup with a dollop of lemon creme fraiche and garnish with pea shoots.