Several weeks ago I received an email from Epicurious, the gist of which was a number of recipes for cold soups. As it is the middle of summer, I am always on the lookout for cold entrees. The recipes came from various sources; Gourmet, Bon Appetit, and Epicurious. I picked five recipes that sounded intriguing and decide to make one a week. We have been taste tasting cold soup recipes, both new and our old favorites for the last several weeks. I’ve made two of the five new recipes I selected and so far they have been winners. The five recipes being tested selected for trial runs are:
- Cold Pea Soup with Herbed Oil Swirl
- Chilled Yellow Squash and Leek Soup with Coriander and Lemon Creme Fraiche
- Chilled and Dilled Avgolemono Soup
- Chilled Watercress Spinach Soup
- Chilled Beet Soup with Buttermilk, Cucumbers, and Dill
All of these recipes are meatless tho some contain chicken broth. Since they are vegetable based vegetarian broth or water could be substituted with additional seasoning.
Over the last two weeks I have made the Cold Pea Soup with Herbed Oil Swirl and the Chilled Yellow Squash and Leek Soup with Coriander and Lemon Creme Fraiche. Both can be made in under an hour. I made them in the morning so they would have plenty of time to chill before dinner
Let’s start with the Cold Pea Soup adapted from a recipe from Epicurious. The soup itself is super easy with only 5 readily available ingredients. Important note – Pay attention to the weight of the frozen peas you purchase. My bags were only 15 ounces. Thankfully I always have frozen peas in the freezer so I could make up the difference.
COLD PEA SOUP WITH HERBED OIL SWIRL
- 3 Tbl. unsalted butter
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, more to taste
- 32 oz frozen peas (6 cups if you don’t have a scale)
- 1 cup of full fat plain Greek yogurt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Herbed Oil to taste (recipe[e follows)
Melt the butter in a heavy pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Do not let the onions brown. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 2 cups of water. Stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Add the frozen peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender. About 4 minutes at altitude – 2 minutes closer to sea level. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the yogurt.
If you are going to put the soup in a blender, let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes to avoid scalding yourself with the contents of an exploding blender. Alternately, you can use an immersion blender but I like the silkiness the true blender delivers. Puree the soup, adding water if it appears too thick, until it is smooth. Season with salt and pepper and allow it to cool to room temperature. Pour into a resealable container and chill for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
While the soup is chilling, make the Herbed Oil.
- 1 1/2 cups fresh Italian Parsley Leaves, packed
- 1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 tbl. finely grated lemon zest
- scant 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
Pulse parsley, mint, and lemon zest in food processor until coarsely chopped. Add the oil and salt and pulse again until well combined. Place in a covered container. Note: I find the oil separates so you will need to combine either with a whisk or vigorous shaking before serving.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with a herbed oil swirl. Here’s my result:
I added some home made parmesan cheese bread to round out the meal. George loved it. It’s gone into my recipe notebook.
Stay tuned for an update on the other tastings!