Chilled Pea, Lettuce and Herb Soup

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This elegant soup is sweet and heavenly. The texture is silky and the consistency thick — but only because there are lots of peas in it. I used water rather than stock when I tested this recipe, and it worked just fine.

Ingredients

For the chilled pea, lettuce and herb soup

  • 3

    tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2

    leeks, white and light green part only, cleaned and sliced

  • Salt to taste

  • 5

    cups frozen or fresh peas (1 1/2 pounds, or 2 12-ounce bags frozen)

  • 3

    cups, tightly packed, coarsely chopped Boston or bibb lettuce

  • 5

    cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water

  • cup coarsely chopped fresh tarragon leaves

  • ¼

    cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

  • ¼

    cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves

  • ¼

    cup chopped chives, plus additional for garnish

  • Chopped fresh tarragon, chives and/or mint for garnish

    Preparation

    For the chilled pea, lettuce and herb soup

    1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the peas, lettuce and stock or water, and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste, reduce the heat, cover and simmer five minutes. Remove from the heat. Drain through a strainer set over a bowl, and allow the vegetables and the broth to cool for 15 minutes. Taste the broth, and season as desired.
    2. Working in batches, purée the vegetables and herbs in a blender with the broth and additional olive oil for two minutes until frothy and smooth. Pour into a bowl, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Chill for several hours.
    3. Serve, garnishing with additional chives, tarragon and/or mint.

    Tip

    • Advance preparation: You can make this dish a day ahead.
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