Tag Archives: pea

Chilled Pea Soup with Crème Fraîche and Tarragon

This chilled soup is light and luscious. Each billowy spoonful is a harbinger of spring in both its simplicity and presentation. A sweet blend of English peas is balanced by the brightness of lemon and the tang of crème fraîche. The licorice notes of tarragon and slivers of peppery radish finish the soup, adding freshness and texture, not to mention a beautiful swath of pink to the emerald purée.

Chilled Pea Soup with Crème Fraîche, Lemon and Tarragon

I prefer the savory flavor of the chicken stock in this recipe, but vegetable stock may also be used. Serves 4.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large shallot, finely chopped, about 1/4 cup
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shelled English peas, about 2 pounds in the pod
1/2 cup crème fraiche
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Fresh tarragon
Sliced radishes

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent without coloring, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the broth, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon black pepper and simmer 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
While the stock is cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the peas and cook until vibrant and tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water or shock in ice water to prevent further cooking.
Combine half of the cooled stock and the peas in the bowl of a food processor and process until very smooth. Add additional stock a little at a time and process to achieve desired consistency. (The soup should be a little thick and not too runny). Transfer to a bowl, and season with salt and pepper.
Whisk the crème fraiche and lemon zest in a small bowl. Gently swirl the cream into the peas, leaving light traces of the cream visible. Carefully divide among serving bowls. Garnish with snipped tarragon leaves and sliced radishes.

Chilled Pea Soup with Crème Fraiche, Lemon and Tarragon

~ lovely bowls by Lorin K. ~

If it’s possible for a soup to evoke a dessert, then this chilled pea soup does just that. I blame the crème fraiche and lemon. When paired together they are sublime, one degree of sweet separation from the makings of an ethereal dessert. The sugar in the peas completes this imagery, and while this soup is decidedly savory with the sharp and licorice notes of radish and tarragon, one can’t help but feel just a little naughty with each billowy spoonful of luscious soup.

Chilled Pea Soup with Crème Fraiche, Lemon and Tarragon
Serves 4

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large shallot, finely chopped, about 1/4 cup
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

2 cups shelled English peas, about 2 pounds in the pod

1/2 cup crème fraiche
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Fresh tarragon
Sliced radishes

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until translucent without browning, 3-4 minutes. Add the broth, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper and simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
While the stock is cooling, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the peas and cook until peas are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water or shock in ice water to prevent further cooking.
Combine the half of the cooled stock and peas in the bowl of a food processor. Process until very smooth. Add additional stock a little at a time and process to achieve desired consistency. (The soup should be a little thick and not too runny). Transfer to a bowl, and taste for salt and pepper. Whisk the crème fraiche and lemon zest together in a small bowl. Gently stir into the peas, leaving light traces of the cream visible. Carefully divide among serving bowls. Garnish with snipped or whole tarragon leaves and sliced radishes.

If you like this, you might enjoy these recipes:
Spring Pea Hummus from Simply Recipes
Orecchiette with Spring Peas, Pancetta and Pea Shoots from TasteFood
Beef with Snow Peas from The Pioneer Woman
Linguine with Morels, Peas and Asparagus from TasteFood
Carrot, Pea and Mint Salad from Steamy Kitchen

Spring Pea and Ricotta Torte with Lemon and Mint

I love peas.  They are nature’s superior answer to fast food, popped straight from the shell into the mouth. No plastic packaging, no coloring nor additives. I also enjoy them cooked, but in our house they rarely last long enough to make it to the cooking stage. When I do manage to put some aside, I love to purée them and  serve as an accompaniment to shellfish, or keep them whole, tossed into pastas and risottos. This torte has a little of both. Fresh peas are cooked in butter with shallots and then divided. Half remain intact and the other half are puréed with ricotta to form the base for this colorful springtime egg dish.

Spring Pea and Ricotta Torte with Lemon and Mint

The unmistakable sweetness of the peas is amplified by cooking and can overpower the eggs and ricotta, so I like to balance their sweetness with tangy lemon zest, lots of salty Italian cheese and fresh mint. This dish may be served warm or at room temperature. I find that by letting the torte cool to room temperature, the flavors mellow and smooth into each other in a very appealing way.
Serves 8.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely chopped, about 1/4 cup
2 cups shelled peas
salt
1/4 cup water or chicken stock
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 large eggs
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup finely grated young Pecorino cheese
1/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter a 9 inch springform pan and wrap bottom with foil to prevent any leakage. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots and cook until softened, one minute. Add peas and 1 teaspoon salt; sauté briefly to coat. Add water or stock, and cook until peas are tender and liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Transfer half of the peas to a bowl of a food processor; puree. Add ricotta and nutmeg; pulse to blend. Add eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition. Transfer to a bowl. Whisk in creme fraiche, 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino cheese. Stir in remaining peas, mint, lemon zest, 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Pour eggs into prepared springform pan. Sprinkle top with extra Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Bake in oven until edges are golden brown and center is puffed and cooked through, about 30-35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.