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Fresh Pea Soup with Chive Blossom Cream

Fresh Pea Soup with Chive Blossom Cream
English peas come into season at the same time chives are putting forth their delicate onion-flavored blossoms, and market vendors often sell chives with their blossoms intact. For a festive brunch, serve the soup with poppy-seed rolls and an array of fresh fruit.

Ingredients:

  • 6 fresh chive blossoms
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 lb. English peas, shelled
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground white pepper

Directions:

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 3 of the chive blossoms and the cream. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the cream thickens and is reduced by nearly half, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

Separate the petals from the remaining 3 blossoms. Mince the petals and set them aside.

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the stock, peas, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the peas are soft, 10 to 20 minutes. The timing will depend upon the size and maturity of the peas.

Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Transfer to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return the puree to the saucepan, place over medium heat and heat to serving temperature. Meanwhile, remove the whole chive blossoms from the cream and discard. Reheat the cream over medium heat until it is quite hot.

To serve, ladle the soup into warmed individual bowls. Add a spoonful of the cream to each serving and garnish with the minced petals. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Cooking from the Farmers' Market, by Georgeanne Brennan (Time-Life Books, 1999).