Fresh peas will forever remind me of my parent’s garden. Both teachers, and having the summers off, desire and time, my parents always had a HUGE GARDEN. We had it all. Corn, carrots, string beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, squash, asparagus, lettuce, garlic, beets, potatoes, strawberries, blueberries, herbs and more. All so good, and so much work! Today, I am in awe of all the summers they gardened and still do (although a bit smaller version, still quite large), as I can only seem to find the time to keep an herb garden and an arugula patch. And, being truthful, the arugula patch really requires no time as it reseeds itself every year!
As a teenager, when directed there was no option but to go pick peas, and then sit on the porch and shell them. I still remember the sound of popping the pods open, and the 3-8 little green balls dropping into the bowl on my lap, my Mom’s and my Grandmother Jennie’s. In the end the tips of some of my fingers would be bright green with pea residue. We’d talk and pop fresh, raw peas into our mouths. Raw, fresh peas are so good!
This soup is not the army green, stick to your ribs soup that most people are familiar with. Rather it is a refreshingly bright and pretty soup that can be served hot or cold. If you plan to chill it, make it a day ahead so the flavors meld together in the refrigerator. If you cannot find fresh peas, high quality frozen peas work just fine. The Black Pepper Olive blends with the refreshing green peas and mint to make a deliciously bright flavor!
- 4 Tablespoons O’Live A Little’s Black Pepper Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
- 1 Cup chopped sweet onion
- 2- 3 Cups Chicken Stock (depending on thickness desired)
- 2 –ten ounce packages frozen peas – USE BIRD’S EYE BABY SWEET PEAS or fresh sweet peas that have been cooked to just tender
- 2/3 Cup chopped fresh mint – don’t skimp on the mint!
- 2 Teaspoons pink Himalayan salt
- 1Teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- ½ Cup Crème Fraiche
- To Make Crème Fraiche - Combine 1 cup whipping cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk in a glass container. Cover and let stand at room temperature (about 70°F) from 8 to 24 hours, or until very thick. Stir well before covering and refrigerate up to 10 days.
- ½ Cup chopped fresh chives
- O’Live A Little’s Black pepper Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar for drizzling
- Garlic Croutons (see below)
Method of Prep:
In large sauce pan heat Black Pepper Olive Oil over medium low heat. Add leeks and onion, and cook about ten minutes or until tender. Add chicken stock; increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Add peas and cook 3-5 minutes (frozen peas will only take 3 minutes). Remove sauce pan from heat; add salt, pepper & mint.
Once cool, whisk in crème fraiche and puree soup. Sprinkle with chives, drizzle with O’Live A Little Black Pepper Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Lemon White Balsamic and top with garlic croutons
To Make Garlic Croutons: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Roast Garlic Bulbs: peel some of the outer papery skin off of a few bulbs of garlic and then cut off the very top of the bulb to expose the individual cloves. Place bulbs cut side down in a baking dish with about ¼ inch of Extra Virgin Olive Oil ( drizzle some oil on top of the bulbs also). Bake uncovered for 45min – 1 hour, or until cloves when pierced with a knife are very soft. Allow to cool till the bulbs can be handled. Squeeze the soft garlic paste out of the bulbs into the left over olive oil from the baking dish. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix well it break up garlic paste. Toss bread cut into desired size in the mixture (you made need to add more olive oil). Please croutons in one layer on baking sheet and broil until all sides are golden, stirring often.
You might want to double this recipe! It’s that good!