Thursday, July 03, 2008
I'll start with the news! I placed second in last month's DMBGIT awards with my tapioca pudding image. Thank you so so much Helen and the other judges, Jen, Graeme, Nadia and Alyson! I love this monthly event because it's a great way to see what everyone else is up to and get caught up on posts you might have missed. See the roundup and the other wonderful images here. I have been focusing much more on food photography lately. I hope to broaden my focus beyond my own little world, and as as such have set up an on-line portfolio (a work in progress) that you can see here. If you know anyone looking for a one-stop shop photographer, cook, and stylist, please send them my way! Now, on to the post . . .
There are beautiful, fresh peas of all kinds everywhere right now. I’ve been eating them in salads, raw and cooked, and snacking on English peas right out of the pod.
I love fresh pea soup, and I’d like to think I have the patience to shell the peas myself, but that never seems to happen. Luckily, the farmer’s market has been selling freshly shelled peas by the half pint and I feel like that’s close enough to shelling them myself.
Taking advantage of this short pea season, I made pea soup and served it with fun garnishes and a radish and ricotta tartine on the side. It’s the perfect lunch or light dinner and can be served both hot or cold.
I learned a tip from Alice Waters that takes a little more time but makes a difference: after puréeing the soup, place it in an ice bath and stir it until cooled. This helps to maintain the soup’s bright green color.
Fresh pea soup
4 cups freshly shelled peas
1 quart chicken stock
One onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 cup plain yogurt
2-3 cloves garlic, roasted and peeled
1 sprig thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Thinly sliced radish
Sauté carrot and onion in olive oil until translucent. Add chicken stock, garlic, thyme, tarragon and celery seeds. Bring to a boil, simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove one cup of stock from the pot and reserve.
Add the peas, simmer until soft (5-10 minutes maximum). Purée soup in a blender or with an immersion blender and then pour into an ice bath (a heat proof bowl placed on top of a bowl filled with ice). Stir until cooled to room temperature and then remove from the ice. Stir in one cup plain yogurt. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Check soup for desired consistency. If too thick, slowly add in reserved stock until it is as thick as you like it.
Reheat or keep at room temperature to serve. Garnish with chopped chive, pea pods, and radish or as desired.