Recipe by Marsha Hamner
I made this soup for company dinner and it was a hugh hit. Thanks to Michael Chiarello.
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
- 1 1⁄2 cups leeks, sliced, white and pale green parts only
- 3⁄4 cup celery, diced
- 2 1⁄4 cups chicken stock
- 2 1⁄4 cups water
- 1⁄2 cup heavy cream
- 4 1⁄2 cups peas, shelled English
- 3 tablespoons parsley, coarsely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf
- 1 teaspoon thyme, minced fresh leaves
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ascorbic acid (1 tablet vitamin C crushed)
- sea salt, preferably gray salt
- creme fraiche or basil oil or finely sliced fresh chives or prosciutto, bits
Directions See How It's Made
- 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. Do not let them color. Then pour the diluted stock into the saucepan and bring to a simmer.
- Add the cream to the vegetable mixture and bring to a simmer. Add the peas and return to a simmer. 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 with the ascorbic acid and puree, adding more of the stock-water mixture as needed to thin the soup to a pleasing consistency. Pour soup into a bowl set in an ice bath and stir until cooled. (we want to cool it down as quickly as possible) Serve soup with optional garnishes.
- Chef's Tip: Ascorbic acid 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 and add it to the mixture in the blender. Note that you'll need a blender to puree the soup. A food processor doesn't make it smooth enough.