I catered a Dinner Party this past weekend for some wonderful clients in Long Beach. We decided upon a Spring menu and I was excited to be able to cook with all the wonderful vegetables that are in Season right now. The dinner was outdoors on their patio overlooking the Naples Canal, the evening was perfect.
After a few appetizers and a mango cocktail, the meal started out with an amuse-bouche. Curried English Pea Soup topped with Creme Fraiche and served in these adorable shot glasses. They loved it and so did I! I'm not a huge pea soup fan but this is light, just the right amount of pea flavor, fresh and delicious. It started the meal out just right. The rest of the menu for the evening:
Pan-Seared Scallops with Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus (will post more on this later)
Chicken Braised in Riesling, Braised Fingerling Potatoes, Fresh Peas
Pizzelle with Vanilla Cream, Fresh Berries, Chocolate
Here is the recipe for this wonderful soup. Hope you enjoy!
Curried English Pea Soup with Creme Fraiche
Makes 8 Servings, In Shot Glass
Adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup diced white onion
1/8 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup thinly sliced butter lettuce
1 1/2 cups shucked English peas (from about 1 1/2 peas in the pod) or frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 large whole mint leaves, plus leaves for garnish
2 1/2 cups water
1/4 lemon, for juicing
1/8 cup creme fraiche
Salt and pepper
Heat saucepan over high heat for 1 minute. Add 2 tbs butter and when it foams, stir in the onion, curry powder, 1/2 tsp salt. Turn heat down to medium and cook 5 minutes, until onion is translucent.
Add the lettuce, peas, salt, sugar and remaining butter. Stir to coat well and cook 4-5 minutes, until lettuce is wilted. Stir in the whole mint leaves, add the water and bring to a boil. Simmer and cook until peas are tender (This may happen very quickly, taste one to check for doneness.)
Strain the soup over a bowl. Put the pea mixture into a blender with 1/4 cup of stock and puree. Slowly pour in more of the stock, until the soup is the consistency of heavy cream. Turn to high and blend until completely smooth. Add 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice and taste for seasoning.
Pour soup into shot glasses, spoon some creme fraiche in the center and top with mint leaves.