Minted Pea Soup
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 quarts water
- 1 pound frozen peas
- 4 cups spinach
- 1/2 cup mint
- Shaved Parmesan, as needed for garnish (optional)
- Balsamic vinegar, as needed for garnish (optional)
Special equipment: chinois or fine-mesh strainer.
Combine the first four ingredients with water in a heavy-bottomed pot and simmer until the shallots and garlic are tender, approximately 10 minutes.
In order to keep the soup's bright green color, it should be cooked in 2 separate batches. Bring half of the stock to a boil. Blanch hald of the peas, spinach and mint for approximately 2 minutes. Puree the mixture until smooth, then pass through a chinois into a bowl that sits on top of a larger bowl of ice. Stir the soup until completely chilled. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Ladle the soup into serving bowls and garnish with shaved Parmesan and a few drizzles of balsamic vinegar.
Wine Pairing: The combination of peas and mint smells like a spring day. Select a crisp New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which tends to be more aromatic than its French and American counterparts.