Cream of Spring Pea Soup with Brown Butter
2-3 slices bacon, cut into a tiny dice (best cut when frozen)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 pounds fresh small peas in the pod, shelled (a bit time-consuming but therapeutic!)
6 cups water
1 bouquet garni (6 fresh parsley stems, 2 bay leaves, 2 fresh thyme sprigs tied in 1 large celery stalk)
1 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
Put bacon bits in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Sauté, stirring often, until the bacon is crisp, about 5-10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon, drain on paper towels and reserve. Pour off bacon fat.
Add 3 tbsp of the butter and the peas to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes. Add the water, the bouquet garni and the salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the peas are completely tender, about 10-15 minutes. Remove about 1/2 cup of the peas from the cooking liquid with a wire skimmer and reserve. Remove the bouquet garni and discard. Drain the peas, reserving the cooking liquid.
Working in batches, transfer the peas to a food mill or puree in a food processor. You can also use a hand blender. Add the cooking liquid as needed. Return the pea puree to the saucepan, adding cooking liquid as needed to achieve a good consistency.
Reheat soup over low heat. Taste and add more salt if needed. Melt the remaining 5 tbsp butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook the butter, stirring often, until lightly browned. Stir in the reserved peas and reheat gently. Ladle pea soup into soup bowls and garnish each with buttered peas and bacon bits. Serve immediately.
It is OK to email this member (but you must sign in first).