Thursday, August 7, 2014

Chilled Summer Pea & Mint Soup with Buttermilk

This rich, creamy and vibrant Chilled Summer Soup is like summertime in a bowl. Peas and fresh mint come together as a perfect marriage that bursts with fabulous flavour, and the addition of tart buttermilk makes this light and delicious soup a refreshing starter to any meal. Wonderfully silky and smooth, it is also unbelievably quick and easy to make — you'll be in and out of the kitchen within half an hour! The soup also transports easily. I often make it ahead of time when invited for a cottage weekend and simply store it in a plastic jug for the drive up north. When it's time to be served, I simply retrieve my jug from the refrigerator and discreetly pour the chilled soup into the bowls, and garnish with a little cream and fresh chives. 

Chopped onions are sautéed in 2 tablespoons of butter for 3 minutes until the onions are soft

The peas, mint and broth are added and brought to a boil, 
then simmered for another 3 minutes until the peas are cooked

The mixture should be allowed to cool a little bit before puréeing in a blender

The puréed soup can be made silky smooth by straining it through a fine sieve

A cup of buttermilk is added to the soup before chilling in the fridge before serving

Chilled Summer Green Pea & Mint Soup with Buttermilk
Serves 4

2 tbsp butter
1 cup chopped onion
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups frozen peas
3 tbsp chopped mint, plus more for garnish
1 cup buttermilk
salt and white pepper to taste
1/4 cup English cucumber, diced for garnish

Heat butter in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and sauté 3 minutes or until softened. Add chicken stock, peas, mint and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes or until the peas are tender. Allow the mixture to cool down for about 10-15 minutes, then pour into a blender and purée until smooth. To make the soup velvety smooth, strain the soup through a fine sieve, then stir in the buttermilk and season with salt and white pepper. Chill well before serving. To serve, garnish with a sprig of mint, a spoonful of diced cucumber and a swirl of buttermilk if you like.