Your grandma would appreciate the thriftiness of this soup, which wisely and economically incorporates the whole pea, pod and all. You eliminate the added labor of pea shelling, and you don’t waste half the vegetable.
Plus, what a perfect expression of springtime: the marriage of puckery lemon and savory mint temper but don’t overwhelm the sweetness of the pea. The small quantities of cream and parmesan do what they do best: add a little creaminess and a little tang. And you can serve it hot or cold!
SNAP PEA SOUP WITH MINT AND LEMON
Yield: 4-6 servings
1.5 pounds snap peas, stems removed and rinsed
1/2 cup minced shallots
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup grated parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup creme fraiche (can sub heavy cream or yogurt), plus more to finish
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the peas and blanch for about 6-8 minutes, until tender but still bright green. Drain immediately, and place in an ice bath to retain color and prevent further cooking.
Meanwhile, heat a stock pot over a medium low flame and saute the shallots until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove pot from heat.
To the stock pot, add the peas, broth, parmesan mint, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Blend using an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can you use an upright blender, working in two batches. Reheat the soup until just hot. Finish by whisking the creme fraiche into the pureed soup. When serving, top each bowl with a dollop of creme fraiche and a mint leaf.