David Leite | Serves 4
This soup is a perfect harbinger of spring. Bright-green and fresh-tasting, it can be served as an appetizer, entrée, or even as an hor d’oeuvre, when poured into shot glasses.—David Leite
For the chive oil
Bunch of chives, torn into thirds
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
For the soup
4 cups shelled fresh peas
4 cups homemade chicken stock, or canned
4 slices pancetta
2 tablespoons shallot, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar, if necessary
For the peppered crème fraîche
1/2 cup crème fraîche
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Make the chive oil
1. Place the chives and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until minced. Add the oil in a steady stream through the feed tube and process until fully blended. Pour into a small bowl or squeeze bottle and set aside.
Make the soup
1. Bring the peas and stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cook until very tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile saute the pancetta until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Crumble when cool, then set aside. Add the shallot and celery to the pancetta fat and cook over medium heat until translucent, about 4 minutes.
2. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the peas into a blender along with the shallot and celery and purée. With the motor running, slowly pour in 2 cups of the chicken stock through the opening in the cap and whirr until smooth. Work in two batches, if necessary. Pour the soup back into the saucepan and heat over a low flame until hot. Season to taste with salt; if the peas were particularly large and starchy, add the sugar.
Make the peppered crème fraîche
1. Whisk the white pepper into the crème fraîche. To serve, ladle the soup into 4 bowls. Using a spoon or squeeze bottle, drizzle a spiral of the chive oil on top. Crown with a dollop of peppered crème fraîche and sprinkle with the crisped pancetta crumbles.
Recipe © 2003 David Leite. Photo © 2003 Maryellen Baker. All rights reserved.