Monday, September 24, 2012

Potage Saint-Germain - Fresh Pea Soup

This is a clipping from my Boulder, Colorado days during the late1970's.  I worked in the Tax Shelter department at E.F. Hutton in Denver and they were always having promotions to encourage the brokers to sell certain oil and gas tax shelters available at the time.  One such incentive was a trip to Paris to those brokers who sold a certain amount in a promoted tax shelter.  There's nothing like a free trip to Paris to encourage brokers to extol the benefits of investing in an oil and gas deal to their clients.

During the campaign the office newsletter would include different French recipes.  I clipped this pea soup recipe and have made it numerous times over the years. 

You can use this basic technique to make a variety of cream soups using different vegetables.  Simmer whatever vegetables in chicken broth, pureé it, return to the pot, add butter and cream and heat through.  Many times it is what ever happens to be in my refrigerator that I needed to use of before it goes bad.  I fondly call it cream of vegetable drawer soup.

 It's an easy recipe and is one that you can make ahead through the blending process.  The recipe doubles nicely (which is what I did today).

It's such a bright, verdant color isn't it?

After the butter and cream are incorporated it becomes a lovely pastel green.

Potage Saint-Germain - Fresh Pea Soup
Serves 4

2 cups frozen or fresh peas (~ a 10 ounce bag frozen)
1/2 cup sliced leeks (2 - 3 leeks)
10 spinach leaves (large leaves; not baby spinach - see note below)
1/2 small head lettuce (iceberg or Boston bibb)
a handful of flat parsley leaves
1/2 tsp dried chervil
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup light cream
2 Tbsp butter
Salt and grind pepper to taste

Mise en place:
  • Wash lettuce and roughly chop
  • Wash spinach until no grit remains
  • Rinse and thinly slice leeks (using only white part)
  • Rinse parsley
  • Rinse frozen peas
  • Measure chervil, cream and butter
In a Dutch oven, place the lettuce, spinach, leeks, peas, parsley and chervil.  Pour chicken broth over the top and stir to combine.  Simmer over medium heat, for about 20 minutes.

In batches, pureé the vegetables and broth in a blender.  Transfer to a saucepan.  Return saucepan to low heat.  Add butter and cream.  Stir gently until butter has melted and cream is incorporated.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with homemade croutons or pumpkin seeds.

Note:  The recipe calls for the larger, more mature spinach leaf rather than the baby spinach.  Yes, it's dirty and sandy and you'll have to wash it several times but I think it yields so much more flavor which will add more depth to the flavor of your soup.  If you opt to use baby spinach, you'll need to compensate for the amount.


No comments:

Post a Comment