Warm weeknight evenings call for a dish that is both easy and light, like a refreshing chilled soup. We love a good gazpacho as much as the next gal, but this week, we’re whipping up a verdant spring pea blend from Kat & Theo, an N.Y.C. joint serving seasonal New American fare. "For me, fresh peas are the ultimate sign of spring,” says executive chef Paras Shah. “This recipe is a lightened-up take on the old-school pea soup, which is often heavy and rich. The tangy addition of buttermilk really brightens the soup's color and flavor." Read below for the recipe.
Spring Pea Soup
2 qt frozen green English peas
1 qt vegetable stock
2 tbsp garlic, sliced thin
1 cup mint leaves
1/4 cup parsley leaves
Salt to taste
Butter to taste
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup crème fraîche
1/4 cup mascarpone
Homemade croutons (recipe below)
Ham chips (recipe below)
For the Croutons
4 slices good country bread, crusts removed and medium dice
4 tbsp olive oil
1 sprig thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Ham Chips
12 slices of ham (jamon serrano, iberico, or prosciutto), sliced thinly
1. To make the croutons: Toss all ingredients together and toast in a 350°F oven until golden brown.
2. To make the ham chips: Lay a silicone baking mat on a baking sheet, then lay the ham slices onto the sheet in one layer. Place another silicone baking mat on top of the ham. Bake in a 325°F oven. Check after 20 minutes to see if the ham has rendered its fat; if it’s the texture of crispy bacon, it’s done.
3. To make the soup: In a blender, blend the peas with the vegetable stock in batches to ensure proper consistency.
4. Pass through a chinois ($23; amazon.com). Return soup to blender and blend the mint and parsley leaves until very smooth. Then, pass through a chinois again.
5. Season with salt. Before serving, emulsify a small pat of butter into the soup, whisking vigorously. In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, crème fraîche, and mascarpone, and dollop the mixture into the soup bowl to taste. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve.