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Chilled Spring Pea Soup

This is a light, creamy soup that has everything going for it—a tempting color, a velvety smooth texture, and a wonderful fresh flavor. It’s a harbinger of warmer weather and the opening of farmers’ markets all across the country. Peas and bacon are a popular combination in England and in America, as the sweetness of the former plays well off the smokiness of the latter. I prefer to use Ventrech bacon from Alsace, but another lightly smoked, dry-cured bacon is fine.–Gordon Ramsay

LC Straight Or Crinkly? Note

Straight or crinkly? (Not kinky. Crinkly. We were inquiring how you like your bacon. What were you thinking? Honestly, you people…) If you answered straight, then you may wish to take a cue from celebrity chef and loudmouth Gordon Ramsay, who bakes bacon slices between 2 heavy baking sheets to keep them straight and flat.

Chilled Spring Pea Soup Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 35 M
  • 50 M
  • Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces lightly smoked sliced bacon
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound fresh peas in the pod, shelled
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 4 cups vegetable stock, homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth (use a light stock and not one made with the carcass of a roasted hen)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus a little extra for serving
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

  • 1. Reserve 4 slices bacon and chop the rest. Place the chopped bacon in a saucepan with the shallots and oil over medium heat until sizzling. Partially cover and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the wine and cook until it has evaporated.
  • 2. Stir in the stock and water and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 15 minutes. Blend in a food processor or blender until smooth, then pass through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing the solids with the back of a ladle to extract as much liquid as humanly possible. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate.
  • 3. Meanwhile, broil the reserved bacon slices until crisp. Drain well on a paper towel.
  • 4. When the soup is well chilled, check the seasoning and whisk in the cream. Season again. Serve in bowls with a little extra cream trickled on top and either a floating bacon slice or a crumbled bacon slice.
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