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
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large shallot, finely chopped, about 1/4 cup
1 cup chicken stock
3 cups shelled English peas
1 cup chicken stock (or water)
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup crème fraîche (or plain Greek yogurt)
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent without coloring, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the peas and sauté until bright and crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the stock, salt, and pepper and simmer until the peas are very tender, about 4 minutes.
2. Carefully transfer to a food processor and process until smooth. Add the 1 cup water, ¼ cup at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. The soup should be a little thick and not too runny. Transfer to a bowl to cool and taste for seasoning.
3. Whisk the crème fraîche and lemon zest in a small bowl.
4. Divide the soup between serving bowls or small cups. Add a spoonful of the cream to the soup and gently swirl, leaving light traces of the cream visible. Garnish with snipped tarragon leaves and sliced radishes.