[A real “oldie” from August 12, 2012] I enjoy cooking and I periodically post recipes, thoughts and ideas on these pages. While I consider myself to be a creative – and fiercely independent – thinker when it comes to food, I enjoy the creations of the Barefoot Contessa — Ina Garten (born February 2, 1948). Ina Garten debuted her cooking show on the Food Network in 2002 and it’s been all uphill since then. Her ideas and recipes are acknowledged by many as among the best.
At a recent dinner, Kathleen made Ina’s “Fresh Pea Soup.” Cold. She knocked it out of the park. I have the recipe and may make a meal of this someday.
Fresh Pea Soup: 2 tblsp unsalted butter; 2 cups chopped leeks (white & light green parts); 1 cup chopped yellow onion; 4 cups chicken stock (homemade if possible); 5 cups fresh peas (or 20 ounces of frozen peas); 2/3 cup chopped mint leaves; 2 tsp kosher salt; 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper; 1/2 cup creme fraiche; 1/2 cup fresh chopped chives; and garlic croutons (homemade are best).
Heat butter in saucepan, add leaks & onion and cook 5-10 min. medium heat (you want the onion tender). Add chicken stock and turn heat to a boil. Add peas and cook 3-5 min. You want peas to be tender (frozen peas take 3 min.). Take off heat and add mint, salt & pepper. Puree the mix in batches. Whisk in creme fraiche and chives and add croutons. Can be served hot or cold.
This soup is a perfect accompaniment for whatever you might serve. I’d probably opt for a 2-legged or no-legged main course (perhaps a tilapia – see 6/14/12 or walleye – see 6/28/12). A light pasta or risotto side. Add a little Bacio Divino (yes, I prefer red) and you have heaven sitting on the table . . . that is unless my granddaughters are sitting there. . . . .