Chilled Spring Pea Soup
- 1 oz. slab bacon, cut in half, or 4 slices bacon
- 1 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 celery stalks, peeled, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 small onion, peeled, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced, washed and dried
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 5 cups chicken stock, unsalted
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 2 1/4 pounds petite peas
- l1/2 pound sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound snow peas, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch Italian parsley, leaves only
Heat a medium casserole dish over medium heat and toss in the bacon. Brown the bacon very well, then pour off the rendered fat. Add the olive oil to the pot and warm it. Add the celery, onion, leek and a little pepper. Lower the heat and cook the vegetables, stirring until they soften but don't brown, about 15 minutes.
Pour in the chicken stock and toss in the sprig of rosemary. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer the soup for 15 minutes. Spoon out and discard the bacon and rosemary. Pour the soup into the container of a blender and puree until smooth (you might have to do this in batches). Set the soup aside to cool.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Toss the sugar snap and snow peas into the pot and cook for 3 minutes. Add the petite peas and cook for another 3 minutes. Toss the parsley into the pot and cook everything a final minute.
Pour peas into a strainer and run all of the ingredients under cold water to cool them down quickly and to set their colors; drain again.
Put the peas, parsley and a little of the soup into the container of a blender and run until smooth. (You might have to add more of the soup to keep things moving in the container.)
Add the remainder of the soup, in batches, and run until you have a smooth mixture.Push the soup through a fine mesh strainer to make certain it is smooth and free of small pieces of pea skin, then taste it and add salt and pepper accordingly.
Pour the soup into a container and refrigerate until cold.
For the cream:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 1 clove garlic, peeled, split and germ removed
- 5 strips of bacon, finely diced
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
Bring the cream, rosemary and garlic to a boil in a small pot, reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes, just until the cream thickens a little. Strain the cream, discarding the rosemary and garlic, season with salt and pepper and chill.
While the cream is cooling, brown and lightly crisp the bacon in a pan over medium heat, then drain it well between several layers of paper towels.
To serve, ladle the soup into cold bowls and drizzle a bit of rosemary cream over each portion.
Top with a sprinkling of bacon.
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