Thursday, July 03, 2008

Fresh pea soup and a little news

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

Garnishes (optional):

Chopped chive
Thinly sliced radish
Pea pods
Pea shoots

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.


Anonymous said...

great, great photography. The crispness is incredible! Such perfect depth of field too.

Not forgetting the food though, a really tasty looking soup.

Meeta K. Wolff said...

You deserve it! i love the picture of the pudding!

And this well WOW! Pea soup has never looked so good!

Cannelle Et Vanille said...

congratulations on your award sabra and this recipe is just as breathtaking as the last. you are getting sooo good!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on winning second place in last month's DMBGIT awards! Your pea soup presentation
and photo are outstanding and look delicious! Keep up the good work!

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

Congratulations on the new site and the award...thoroughly deserved. Pea soup is a favourite of mine and I love your version. Hot or cold!

Anonymous said...

Yep, absolutely beautiful shot. Simply mouth-watering. Congrats on the award, too!

Anonymous said...

This photograph, and what you choose to embellish the dish is fabulous. The peas, the translucent radishes, the rope, the burlap are all truly sensual. Congratulations on your award, and more importantly on your eye. auntie

Y said...

Congrats on the award! It was such a beautiful picture, as is this one!

Anonymous said...

Pea soup is my favorite and i am glad to see that your pea soup is the real stuff.
Congratulations on your award. You should be very proud and after such a short time

Special K

Anonymous said...

congratulations! Your photography is first class - I love your portfolio ^^

Anonymous said...

What a beautifully styled shot!

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