From west~bourne chef Camilla Marcus:
It’s my first Mother’s Day as a mom myself, so this one means a lot. This soup embraces all that I love about this time of year, as spring evolves into summer — a traditional pea soup meets gazpacho. Vibrant, green, crisp, and bright, it’s relatively easy to make and is sort of like a salad-soup mash up. I think starting a meal with a soup, especially one that’s chilled, sets a celebratory tone, evocative of what we are all nostalgic for with multi-course meals in restaurant. Hopefully now you can bring that spirit home for this holiday.
Herb oil (yields ¾ cup)
2 cups chives, cut into 2-inch baton
¼ cup picked mint
¼ cup picked Thai basil
¾ cup neutral oil
1 ½ cup diced onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 quarts water
4 teaspoons salt
1 cup peas
1 bunch of pea shoot tendrils
1 piece green radish, thinly sliced
Green pickled almonds (optional)
For the Herb Oil
Note: Try to make this ahead of time, as it takes a while to let the oil fully strain.
Prepare an ice bath. Blanch herbs in boiling water until leaves turn bright green, about 30 seconds. Remove from water with a strainer and immediately shock in an ice water bath. Once completely cooled, squeeze the herbs dry as much as possible. Combine the herbs and oil in a blender, and blend on high until you get a fine puree. Pour the oil over a fine mesh strainer into a container. Allow gravity to let the oil naturally pass through, while the solids collect in the strainer. Let the oil strain for a couple of hours until the solids feel dry, and most of the oil has passed through to the container. Reserve the oil in a container, and discard the herb puree.
For the Soup
In a large pot, sweat the onions and garlic on low heat with olive oil until soft and translucent. Note: you’re not looking for them to take on color.
Add 2 quarts water and salt, and bring up to a simmer. Allow to cool.
Once cooled, puree the onion mixture, until onions are pureed (approximately 30 seconds), working in batches if necessary. Add peas to the blender mixture.. Blend from low to high, gradually increasing the speed of the blender. Blend for 1 minute. Once blended, taste to check for seasoning.
To serve, ladle soup into a bowl. Build the salad into a mound on your work surface and then place the assembled mini salad on top of your soup. If you have pickled almonds, garnish the salad with them. Drizzle herb oil on top.
- Don’t overload the blender; split into batches if necessary
- Keeping the mixture cool will retain that bright green color. Blenders add heat as well, so make sure not to blend for too long
- Keep peas in freezer until ready to blend.
- Leftover onion stock can be used for variety of sauces and other cooking applications.