This is our second recipe for the Saturday cooking group Weekend in a French Kitchen cooking from Daniel Boulud's Cafe Boulud Cookbook, Chilled Spring Pea Soup, found on page 112. (Courtesy of the author and Food & Wine Magazine, you can also find the recipe online here.)
The ingredient list (for the soup, cream, and topping): bacon, olive oil, celery, onion, leek, salt, white pepper, chicken stock, rosemary, peas (combination of English Sweet Peas, fava beans, sugar snap peas, snow peas), Italian parsley, cream, and garlic.
It is so great getting back to French cooking with friends again, I have missed making/eating it and Mark has missed eating it. When I was standing in my kitchen amidst several pots, numerous knives and cutting boards, and with ingredients spread the length and breadth of my kitchen, I was smiling the entire time...what a treat to be able to practice old techniques and learn new ones. French cooking is not for the fainthearted but isn't terribly daunting either with well-written recipes and lovely results. This recipe scored high on both of those.
Mark is not a pea soup fan, go figure, so this week he sat this one out as far as tasting goes and it was mine alone. I made a quarter of a recipe and it gave me two generous bowls of soup for lunches this week. The fresh pea flavor really shines and the rosemary garlic cream with bacon was a fun and delicious way to top it all off. Definitely worthy of a repeat.
Quick notes: I saved the pea mash remaining after the straining of the second part of the soup recipe and the bacon from the straining of the first part of the soup recipe to use as a bed for broiled fish with the little bacon bits crumbled on top and that was delicious. I also saved the garlic and rosemary from the cream infusion and used that to throw into some mashed potatoes and that was delicious. No sense throwing out perfectly wonderful flavoring ingredients if you can use them nicely elsewhere.
If you would like to see how the others fared, click here and follow the links. Next week's recipe is Andrew Carmellini's Bow Tie Pasta with Tomato, Arugula, and Mozzarella, page 306.