There isn’t one recipe from Ina Garten, aka “The Barefoot Contessa” that I haven’t loved and this is no exception. I’m not a fan of dried split pea soup. But this green pea soup has a bright, fresh taste that’s just perfect to welcome in this Spring that seemed like it would never arrive. The blast of mint in the soup turned even my “I-don’t-like-peas” daughter into a convert. Leave out the crème fraîche if you want. It’s delicious even without it.
Ina Garten’s Spring Pea Soup
2 T. unsalted butter
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
1 cup chopped yellow onion
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
(or use vegetable stock to make it vegetarian)
5 cups freshly shelled peas or 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen peas
2/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crème fraiche (or heavy cream)
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
garlic croutons (optional)
Heat the butter in a large saucepan, add the leeks and onion, and cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the onion is tender. Add the chicken stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add the peas and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the peas are tender. (Frozen peas will take only 3 minutes.) Off the heat, add the mint, salt, and pepper.Puree the soup in batches: place 1 cup of soup in a blender, place the lid on top, and puree on low speed. With the blender still running, open the venthole in the lid and slowly add more soup until the blender is three-quarters full. Pour the soup into a large bowl and repeat until all the soup is pureed. Whisk in the crème fraiche and chives and taste for seasoning. Serve hot with a dollop of crème fraîche and/or chopped chives.