Tuesday, April 3, 2012

spring bliss soup, sugar snap pea soup, chilled pea and mint soup

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.

spring bliss soup, sugar snap pea soup, chilled pea and mint soup

Chilled Sugar Snap Pea & Mint Soup Recipe

sugar snap peas, fresh pea soup

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.

spring bliss soup, sugar snap pea soup, chilled pea and mint soup, ring mold

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.

spring bliss soup, sugar snap pea soup, chilled pea and mint soup

Place blanched peas around the ring mold. Ladle chilled soup over the peas.

spring bliss soup, sugar snap pea soup, chilled pea and mint soup

Lift up the ring mold.

spring bliss soup, sugar snap pea soup, chilled pea and mint soup

Mix creme fraiche (or fat free sour cream) with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and pinch of salt.

la yu chili oil

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.

spring bliss soup, sugar snap pea soup, chilled pea and mint soup

Spoon drops of creme into the soup, then dot with chili oil. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

sugar snap pea soup by charlie trottter

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:

Resplendent Baby Gold Beet Salad

Lobster & Okra Fettuccine, Spicy Gumbo Sauce

Steamed Sablefish in Bok Choy, Shiitake, Navy Bean Emulsion

The Ultimate Vegetable Stir-Fry Tower, Three Vibrant Sauces

Napoleon of Portobella & Turnip, Ginger-Soy-Mirin Sauce

Black-Eyed Peas with Haricots Verts, Spicy Curry Emulsion

Contemporary Bistro Duck and Wild Mushrooms

Grilled King Trumpet Mushrooms & Shishito Peppers on Rosemary Skewers, Tomato Water

Charlie Trotter’s Kitchen

33 Responses to “Spring Bliss: Sugar Snap Pea, Avocado, Tomato, Mint”

  1. […] the “purple course.” The recipes for the “green course” a chilled soup of Sugar Snap Pea & Mint, and the “pink course” Fettuccine with Beet Syrup, and “orange course” […]

  2. Wow, so healthy and beautif looking soup, thanks.

    You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here all bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon. Different theme each month. Theme for April is Chinese Soup.

  3. Liz says:

    Your food styling and photos are just outstanding!!! What vibrant colors. And delicious, too! Hoping you had a marvelous Easter, my friend!

  4. One of the best looking soup I’ve ever seen! Happy to see La-Yu on your blog. =D

  5. Gorgeous! So vibrant it just screams WELCOME SPRING!

  6. WOW!
    Where have I been? Always astonishingly beautiful!
    Your food photos are some of the best on the net IMHO.

  7. This is a stunning recipe! Charlie Trotter (and Alice Waters) has some of the best recipes for vegetables.

  8. So, so beautiful!! fitting for Michelin!

  9. Claudia says:

    Never did “healthy” look so welcoming! You are turning me into a Trotter fan. Happy Passover.

  10. This is no less than a work of art – and I’m sure it’s delicious too.

  11. Laz says:


    Gorgeous flavor profile. The combo of the sweet from the avocado and a little heat from the chili oil. Well done.

    I really should get my ring mold in some of my shots. Looks a lot like yours.


  12. A piece of artwork!

    Happy Passover LL.


  13. MrsLavendula says:

    this dish is so pretty!

  14. Corina says:

    This is so pretty – I just want to stare at the picture!

  15. Staci Smith says:

    Oh my goodness this just looks smashing!! I cannot wait to try this one out for a dinner party. Thanks!!!

  16. mjskit says:

    Taste with your eyes says it all! What a beautiful soup and all those wonderful layers of flavors! Delicious!

  17. Cindy says:

    This is too pretty, really feel like I’m feasting with my eyes!!

  18. Kelly says:

    Absolutely beautiful!!! love the plating

  19. Hannah says:

    Wow, what an arresting combination of colors and geometric shapes! Very avant-gaurde, but best of all, very delicious, I’m sure. I could certainly go for a bowlful right about now.

  20. missy says:

    I am breath taken by this post. Absolutely gorgeous! Tweeted and pinned darling!

  21. Suzi says:

    This is absolutely stunning.

  22. Wow! The colors are so vibrant they are almost shocking. I bet it’s an explosion of flavor.

  23. Ann says:

    Amazing, as always! I adore snap peas raw – so I would have been in line to try them at the market, too!

  24. Once again just reading the title of your recipe makes mouths water, and the opening photo is delightful. Chilled soups are so perfectly refreshing on hot days and we are definitely looking forward to this one this summer. Really nice!

  25. Heather says:

    Loving everything about this soup – so fresh!

    Beautiful presentation and Photos.

  26. I’m in love. Seriously… in love!

  27. Oh my goodness. Stunning and delicious!

  28. Starr says:

    Wow. Gorgeous photo!!

  29. pam says:

    Oh, much too pretty to eat!

  30. Joan Nova says:

    Two words … spectacular and pinning!

  31. Kiri W. says:

    Looks beautiful, and I love the plating advice :) I like chilled soups a lot for the summer :)

  32. what a beautiful and delicious dish!

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