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Chilled English Pea Soup with Fennel Salad
 

Ingredients
 

Soup

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 large yellow onion, minced

4 cups shelled fresh English peas (from about 4 pounds unshelled) or frozen petite peas

3 cups rich vegetable stock or water

2 tbsps heavy cream (optional)

pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper

1 tbsp SIMI Sonoma County Chardonnay

Salad

1/4 fennel bulb, shaved paper-thin

1/4 English cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1/8 inch half moons

12 fresh tarragon leaves, very finely sliced

1/2 bunch fresh chives, chopped

pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Directions
 

Soup:

To make the soup, in a saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the peas and stock, raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. The peas should be very tender.

Remove from the heat and drain into a sieve placed over a bowl. Add the contents of the sieve and about 2 cups of the liquid to a blender. Puree until smooth, adding more of the liquid as needed to achieve a smooth, fluid soup consistency. If desired, blend in the cream to enrich the soup. Season the soup with the salt, pepper, and wine.

Transfer the soup to a large pitcher, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 day before serving.

To Serve:

When ready to serve, make the salad. In a bowl, combine the shaved fennel, cucumber, tarragon, and chives and toss to mix well. Season with the salt and pepper, drizzle with the lemon juice and olive oil, and toss to coat evenly.

Remove the soup from the refrigerator, taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed (chilling the soup dulls its aroma and flavor). Divide the chilled soup among six individual serving bowls and place a small mound of the salad in the center of each bowl. Garnish with the fennel fronds, tarragon, and pea shoots, if desired.

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