Prep 45 mins
Cook 30 mins
Wonderful soup by Michael Chiarello. Can be eaten warm, cold, or at room temperature, which makes it a great soup "to go" or to make ahead! Note: The recipe calls for ascorbic acid / or 1 tablet of Vitamin C, crushed. This helps keep the green color in pureed herbs and vegetables -- If you have Vitamin C tablets on hand, just crush one with a rolling pin or the side of a knife.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, lightly crushed
- 1 1⁄2 cups of sliced leeks
- 3⁄4 cup of diced celery
- 2 1⁄4 cups chicken stock, mixed with
- 2 1⁄4 cups water
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- 4 1⁄2 cups of shelled English peas (about 4 1/2 pounds unshelled you can use frozen peas)
- 3 tablespoons of coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
- 1 teaspoon of minced fresh thyme leave
- 1⁄8 teaspoon of powdered ascorbic acid (1 tablet of Vitamin C, crushed)
- sea salt, to taste (preferably gray salt)
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- creme fraiche, to taste (optional)
- basil oil, to taste (optional)
- finely sliced fresh chives (optional)
- prosciutto, bits, to taste (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Add the garlic and let it sizzle for about 1 minute -- then add the sliced white and pale green parts of the leek and celery.
- Stir often while cooking until the vegetables soften -- about 8 minutes -- without letting them take on any color.
- Pour the diluted stock into the saucepan and bring to a simmer.
- Add the cream to the vegetable mixture and bring to a simmer again.
- Add the peas and return to a simmer (If using frozen peas, do not thaw ahead of time -- just add them frozen in this step).
- Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the peas are just tender -- about 8 minutes.
- Add the parsley and thyme and simmer for 1 minute longer, then remove from the heat.
- Transfer in batches to a blender along with the ascorbic acid (*See Note in Description) and puree (NOTE: A food processor doesn't make the soup smooth enough -- you must use a blender).
- Add more of the stock-water mixture as needed to thin the soup to a pleasing consistency.
- Pour the soup into a bowl set in another bowl filled with an ice bath and stir until cooled (cool it down as quickly as possible). You may heat this up again when you are ready to serve to just above body temperature, if you prefer warm soup to cold or room temperature. Serve the soup with optional garnishes as desired. Enjoy!