Fresh Pea Soup With Morels
- Prepare the pea stock: Place the pea pods, mushroom trimmings, and mint stems in a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Then immediately lower the heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Strain the liquid through a sieve or colander, discarding the pods and trimmings. Set the stock aside.
- In a large, wide saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and gently saute until translucent, approximately 10 minutes. Add the garlic and peas, and saute for a couple more minutes. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the sugar. Then add 2 cups of the pea stock and simmer until the peas are tender, about 10 minutes for young peas, 20 to 30 minutes for large starchy peas. Taste the peas after 10 minutes to test for tenderness.
- As soon as the peas are cooked, remove two thirds of the soup from the saucepan and puree it, in batches, in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return the puree to the pan and stir until well combined and heated through. Taste the soup, and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Set the soup aside.
- Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat until it starts to sizzle. Add the morels, shallots, and thyme, and season generously with salt and pepper. Saute until the morels are golden brown and tender, approximately 10 minutes.
- Reheat the soup, and stir in the chopped mint. Divide the soup among warmed bowls. Top with a spoonful of creme fraiche and a scattering of sautéed morels.