Springtime is greentime in Seattle. And nothing says springtime better than this vibrantly fresh pea and mint soup from epicurious, via our friend Natalie. Bright, fresh pea flavors mingle with silky, flavorful swirls of chive oil. Add garlic-rubbed toasts for the perfect springtime dinner.
Heat 2 T olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add 1 2/3 cups chopped shallots (about 6 large) and 2 minced cloves of garlic. Sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Add 8 cups shelled fresh peas (or 2 16-oz bags of thawed petite peas) and stir 1 minute. Add 5 1/2 cups vegetable broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until the peas are very tender, about 8 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Puree soup and 1/4 cup chopped mint in batches in blender until smooth. Return to the same pot; thin with more broth by 1/4 cupfuls, if desired.
DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and chill.
(Optional) Make the Chive Oil If you’re in Seattle and growing chives, you must make chive oil! You’ll need 1 bunch of chives (about 3/4″ diameter bouquet) and 1/2 cup grape seed or vegetable oil. Put a coffee filter in a sieve, set over a heat-proof measuring cup or bowl. Puree chives and oil in a blender until well blended. Transfer to a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until it sizzles – about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove chive oil from heat and strain thru the prepared sieve and coffee filter. Don’t press on the solids, or the oil will be cloudy. Let cool. Cover and chill. Chive oil lasts about 1 week.
Rewarm soup over medium-low heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls; garnish with additional mint and a drizzle of chive oil.
Serve with garlic-rubbed toasts, also drizzled with chive oil. Toast your bread, then when it’s super hot, rub it with a raw garlic clove. The garlic will melt into the bread. Decadent and satisfying.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 2/3 cups chopped shallots (about 6 very large)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 cups shelled fresh peas (from about 5 pounds peas in pods) or two 16-ounce bags frozen petite peas, unthawed
- 5 1/2 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth (preferably organic)
- Optional chive oil
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint plus additional for garnish
- 1 bunch of chives (about 3/4″ diameter bouquet)
- 1/2 cup grape seed or vegetable oil