When we eat food that is in the peak of its season we get the best there is to offer. That’s why the Farm to Table movement is so powerful. Here, sweet peas, leeks and fennel combine to create this delicate-yet-flavor-packed chilled soup.
I’ve spent the last ten days at the beaches of Montauk, East Hampton and Shelter Island. I feel like a kid again. After a hot day at the beach a light meal that takes little prep but satisfies is what I aim for. In this week’s Cooking with Heinen’s post, I’m sharing my Chilled Sweet Pea, Leek & Fennel Soup. It’s topped with a relish of red grapes, lemon zest and fennel fronds.
This dish is made primarily in a blender. What could be easier than that? If you are not familiar with leeks be sure to cut them in half length wise and rinse them well. They are typically quite sandy.
Chilled Sweet Pea, Leek & Fennel Soup
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- ¾ c. Sweet onion
- ¾ c. fennel
- ¾ c. leeks
- 1½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 1 can low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ c. dry white wine
- 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 lb. peas
- ¾ c. red seedless grapes
- ½ tsp. lemon zest
- 6 oz. low-fat plain yogurt or creme fraiche
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
Make the soup:
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat.
- Add the sweet onion, fennel, and leeks and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, lower heat to medium low, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Add the broth, wine, and thyme and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. Add the peas and simmer for 5 more minutes.
- Transfer the soup in batches to a blender and puree the soup until smooth. Add up to 1/2 cup water to thin. Transfer to a large bowl, cover, and chill.
Make the Grape Salsa:
- Combine grapes, 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds, lemon zest, remaining salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Whisk yogurt, 1/4 cup water, and lemon juice into the chilled soup.
- If necessary, thin with water to desired consistency.
- Serve soup cold, garnished with seasoned grapes.