It’s that time of year again when chefs look forward to spring produce. Here in Colorado, the farmers markets open again and we start to see the first of the peas, favas, asparagus, ramps and rhubarb. If you ask any chef when their favorite time of the year is to be cooking, I would bet the majority would say “Spring”.
Now that I spend less time in the kitchen, I don’t get the opportunity to play with these spring ingredients as much as I used to. When I do, I’m sure to take advantage of it.
Right now I’m working on recipes for one of the new restaurants we’ll be opening this summer. I was fortunate enough to find some peas and starting working on a simple spring soup. You can serve this soup warm or chilled. I garnished a warm bowl with a little citrus crème fraiche. You could just as easily top a chilled version with a watercress & citrus salad.
¼ cup olive oil
½ lb onion, diced
2 oz garlic, minced
1 bay leaves
1 qts stock, vegetable or chicken
2 lbs English peas, cleaned
2 bu watercress
1 tbs mint leaf, minced (.1 oz)
½ cup cream
1 fl oz. apple cider vin
Salt to taste
- In a large saucepan, heat the olive over medium heat.
- Add the onions and garlic and sweat gently.
- Add the bay leaf, stock and peas.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a low simmer for 25 minutes.
- While the peas are simmering, remove the stems from the watercress.
- Remove the peas from the heat and add mint and watercress.
- Puree until smooth with a hand blender or in a traditional blender.
- Strain through a china cap.
- Stir in the cream.
- Stir in the vinegar.
- Season with salt to taste.