Chilled Sugar Snap Pea & Mint Soup
Mashed Avocado with Lime, Tomato Concassé with Shallot
Fresh Mint, Chili Oil & Creme Fraiche Garnish
A vendor at the Farmers’ Market was handing out samples of fresh-from-the-vine sugar snap peas. Telling people just to eat them as is, no cooking necessary. They were sweet & exploding with flavor, crunchy, the color of spring. Few of us could pass up buying a basket or two. Once home, I turned to my favorite vegetable cookbook Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables for inspiration: Sugar Snap Pea Soup. A simple and refreshing chilled soup. With avocado for richness, tomato for sweet acidity, mint for brightness. Spring. Bliss.
Chilled Sugar Snap Pea & Mint Soup Recipe
Start with about 2 c. fresh sugar snap peas. Remove peas from 1 c. of the pods, reserving the shells. Blanch the peas and shock in ice water, set aside. Then blanch and shock the remaining cup of sugar snap peas with the reserved shells. Place them in a blender with 1/3 c. blanched mint leaves and 1/2 c. cold water. Puree until smooth, add more water if necessary. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and season with salt and pepper. Chill.
Peel, seed, and chop two tomatoes. Sauté a small finely diced shallot in olive oil until translucent. Add the chopped tomato and cook about 5 minutes until most of the water has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper, set aside to cool.
Mash one large avocado with lime juice, salt and pepper. Oil the interior of a ring mold with a bit of olive oil. Place the ring mold in a shallow soup bowl, press a layer of avocado mash into the bottom. Top with a layer of tomato. Press down on the tomato with the back of a spoon to smooth the surface.
Place blanched peas around the ring mold. Ladle chilled soup over the peas.
Lift up the ring mold.
Mix creme fraiche (or fat free sour cream) with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and pinch of salt.
We like S&B La-Yu Chili Oil. It’s fiery hot balanced with a smooth sesame oil flavor and has vibrant red-orange color.
Spoon drops of creme into the soup, then dot with chili oil. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
This Chilled Sugar Snap Pea & Mint Soup is an adaptation of Chef Trotter’s recipe.
More Taste With The Eyes inspiration from my hero, Chef Charlie Trotter: