Sunday, July 7, 2013

Minty Pea Soup with Parsnip Chips



In my opinion, sweet peas are a rather underestimated culinary ingredient. They may not be as versatile as beans or tomatoes, but just like any vegetable they can be turned into something incredibly delicious in hands of a curios and creative cook.

Peas can be eaten raw in salads, steamed as a side dish, or cooked in soups and stews. Snow and sugar snap peas can be eaten raw as crudites. They are fantastic in Chinese stir-fried dishes. 

Since peas are rather delicate, they should be added to a dish at the end or you will end up with a discolored, unrecognizable mess.  
 
Minty Pea Soup with Parsnip Chips

Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 small, chopped shalots 
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 lb fresh sweet peas (you may use frozen peas when peas are not in season)
  • 3/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
  • kosher salt and freshly grind pepper to taste
Method:
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil.
  • Place the peas and mint in a blender and add the hot broth mixture. (Because hot liquids expand when blended, hold the lid firmly in place with a kitchen towel before blending.) Blend until smooth. Return to saucepan to heat through, if necessary. 
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.  
To make parsnip chips:
  • Preheat oven to 400°F  (200°C)
  • Using a vegetable peeler, work your way around the fat end of the peeled parsnip taking off about 3-4 slivers at a time. 
  • Repeat with the other parsnips. Brush some sunflower oil then grind some black pepper onto a metal baking tray, evenly lay the strips down flat, lightly brush with some more oil and season again with a little bit more pepper and salt. Bake in the oven for around 8 minutes on the top shelf, give them a toss at around 5 minutes with a spatula and return to the oven. 
  • When golden remove from oven and cool on paper towel. Use to garnish the pea soup.
Serve this soup nicely chilled on a hot summer day and make sure to enjoy in good company. - Dominique Allmon

         

Image source here

Recipe source unknown. I found this recipe in my notes and I wish I knew its origins.