On a research trip one year, our corporate marketing manager arranged for us to have a private dining experience in a little restaurant nestled in an old Boston neighborhood. I can’t remember the name, but everything about the place was out of Saveur magazine for me. Just completely authentic from the lighting to the white linens to the stemware. When the 28 year old chef brought out her creamy fresh pea soup with tarragon, we all lost our minds. It was decadent, spring fresh and incredibly green. She served it with warm French baguette and tarragon butter. This was the first course. Shortly after this trip, I shared in an endeavor with two other chefs to master this soup. We were lucky enough to sample a young chef’s version in Boston. Of all the foods I enjoyed that week, her soup was the most memorable. I think our version is close to what she mastered.
The simplicity of this recipe is part of what makes it so appealing. It’s easy to make but results in standing ovations from all your soupers! Made with savory house-made chicken stock, green peas, organic spring leeks, creme fraiche, cream, butter, and fresh organic tarragon. Blended until smooth, silky and beautifully green. Garnish with organic Italian parsley, organic tarragon and cracked black pepper and serve with goooood crusty artisan bread and lemon tarragon butter.
emerald green pea soup with spring leeks and fresh tarragon
makes 6 servings
- 3 T unsalted butter
- 1 T extra virgin olive oil
- 2 C organic leeks, white and light green parts, rough chopped
- 1 C white onion, chopped
- 1 T fresh garlic, minced
- 4 C organic chicken stock (strain if homemade)
- 6 C organic peas (frozen are totally fine!), plus 1/3 C reserved for garnish
- 1/4 C fresh tarragon leaves, chopped (you can use dry as well)
- 1 C heavy cream
- 1/2 C creme fraiche
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 C fresh tarragon leaves, whole for garnish
- 2 T cracked black pepper
- 1/3 C whole peas for garnish
In a 3-4 quart saucepan on medium low heat, warm the butter and olive oil until butter has melted then add the leeks and onion and cook for 5 to 7 minutes. When leeks and onions are soft, add garlic. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the chicken stock, increase heat to medium high and bring stock to a boil. Add the peas and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the peas are tender. Remove from heat. With an emersion blender, puree peas and stock until smooth. Add in cream and creme fraiche and puree until well incorporated. Add chopped tarragon and salt – adjust seasoning as needed. Serve with a garnish of whole tarragon leaves, cracked black pepper and a tablespoon or so of lightly cooked whole peas per bowl. A dollop of creme fraiche is also nice.
- If you are not a fan of tarragon or have trouble finding it fresh, a good substitute is fresh chives. It’s a wonderful addition to the flavor!
- If you find that your soup is too thick for your tastes, you can add more stock or more cream and then adjust seasoning accordingly
- For a vegetarian version of this soup, substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth. I suggest finding a light colored vegetable broth. Some are very orange and this will change the beautiful green you want to achieve with this spring soup.
- One last suggestion ~ this is an amazing soup hot OR cold. We love this on a hot summer day with a summery salad. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
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