Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cook: Pea & Mint Soup with Proscuitto

This is one of my favorite spring/summer soups. It is light and refreshing, and incredibly satisfying. Who knew that peas and mint would make such a good pair!  Apparently, it also makes a good ice cream flavor.  Green pea and mint was the special flavor at Sweet Rose Creamery the other day!

This is a very very easy soup to make. It is also very inexpensive. You can choose omit the creme fraiche to make it dairy free if you prefer. You can also substitute yogurt or sour cream for the creme fraiche.

Pea & Mint Soup with Proscuitto (recipe adapted from Gordon Ramsay)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 slices of proscuitto (or pancetta)
sea salt and black pepper
large handful of mint (approx 6 sprigs, leaves only)
1 lb bag of frozen peas
3/4 cup (175ml) of  creme fraiche (you can use sour cream or yogurt)

1. Heat the olive oil in the skillet, sprinke prosuitto with some black peppe rand cook over high heat until golden brown and crisp, turning once. Drain on paper towel to remove excess oil
2. Bring a small pot of salted water to boil - add mint leaves then bring back to a boil. Add peas and blanch for 2-3 min until they are just tender and still bright green. Drain (reserving some of the liquid)
3. Tip the peas and mint into a blender. Add just enough reserved liquid to cover and whiz to a smooth puree. (I used an hand blender and did this in the pot I cooked the peas)
4. At this time you can choose to drizzle with oil and add a couple dollops of creme fraiche if you like.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, pulse to combine.
5. Pour soup into warm bowls and dollop some reserved creme fraiche on top. scatter with crisp proscuitto and serve!

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