Chilled Pea Soup with Crème Fraiche, Lemon and Tarragon

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

Orzo Salad with Peas, Radishes and Pecorino

Orzo Salad with Peas, Radishes and Pecorino
Orzo tf
Yes, I know I am posting back-to-back pasta dishes. The previous post was in celebration of autumn. The calendar and unusually cool weather got the best of me, and I confess I may have jumped the gun. Just as that post was published, summer returned with a vengeance, perhaps in a fiesty face-saving attempt to rectify it’s dismal display until now. The cool weather skyrocketed to triple digits and just looking at an oven made me sweat. Move aside fireside dinners, your time will come. When it’s this hot, it’s necessary to rely on cool, no-cook or nearly-no-cook recipes for light eating. And this recipe does the trick.This orzo dish is fresh and simple to prepare. Serve as a light main course or, better yet, a side dish to accompany your Labor Day barbecue.
Orzo Salad with Peas, Radishes and Pecorino
The radish leaves may be substituted with Italian flat-leaf parsley or a combination of parsley and mint leaves. Serves 4-6 as a side dish.1/2 pound (250 grams) orzo
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
12 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, rinsed and dried
6-8 radishes, halved and thinly sliced
3 green onions, tips and ends discarded, sliced
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup radish leaves, washed, coarsely chopped
Finely grated zest of one lemon
Juice of one half lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Grated pecorino cheese (mild, not too piquant) for garnishBring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until al dente. Drain; toss with one tablespoon olive oil. Cool to room temperature.
Add the remaining ingredients except the pecorino cheese. Toss to combine and taste for seasoning. Serve sprinkled with cheese.