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Friday, September 9, 2016

Chilled Pea Lettuce and Herb Soup

Martha Rose Shulman  
  Time 30 minutes 
 Yield Six regular servings or 12 aperitifs 

This elegant soup is sweet and heavenly. The texture is silky and the consistency thick -- but only because there are lots of peas in it. I used water rather than stock when I tested this recipe, and it worked just fine.
Featured in: Chilled Summer Soups.

For the chilled pea, lettuce and herb soup
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green part only, cleaned and sliced
 Salt to taste
5 cups frozen or fresh peas (1 1/2 pounds, or 2 12-ounce bags frozen)
3 cups, tightly packed, coarsely chopped Boston or bibb lettuce
5 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
? cup coarsely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
¼ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
¼ cup chopped chives, plus additional for garnish
 Chopped fresh tarragon, chives and/or mint for garnish

For the chilled pea, lettuce and herb soup
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the peas, lettuce and stock or water, and bring to a boil. Add salt to taste, reduce the heat, cover and
simmer five minutes. Remove from the heat. Drain through a strainer set over a bowl, and allow the vegetables and the broth to cool for 15 minutes. Taste the broth, and season as desired.
2. Working in batches, purée the vegetables and herbs in a blender with the broth and additional olive oil for two minutes until frothy and smooth. Pour into a bowl, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Chill for several hours.
3. Serve, garnishing with additional chives, tarragon and/or mint.

Advance preparation: You can make this dish a day ahead.

Nutritional information per serving (six servings)
183 calories; 1 gram saturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 22 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 155 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 9 grams protein

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