Friday, July 5, 2013

Chilled Pea Soup with Garlic Cream and Grilled Gulf Prawn

I had an excellent pea crop this year, but unfortunately, we were on our trip when they were at their peak.  When I harvested them the day we returned, I found most of the peas were over ripened, or past their sweet peak.  We had some for dinner the other night and with the rest, I decided to make chilled pea soup to bring to a Fourth of July party.  With the soup, I could mask a little of the bitterness some of the peas developed.  I served these in small glass jars to be had like a shot of soup.

For the soup:
6 Cups water
1/8 Cup kosher salt
4 Cups shelled peas
5 Fresh Basil leaves
5 Fresh Mint leaves
2 Tablespoons chopped spring onion
2 1/2 Cups reserved cooking liquid
Salt and pepper to taste
Large bowl of ice water to shock the peas

Bring the water and salt to a boil in a large pot.  Add the peas and once the water comes to a boil again, cook the peas for another 90 seconds at a rolling boil.
Drain the peas, reserving the 2 1/2 cups of water.
Put peas immediately into the ice water bath.
Using a blender, purée the peas with the reserved water, basil, mind and spring onion.  You will probably need to do this in 2 batches.
Strain the soup through a medium meshed sieve.  I like a little bulk to the soup, so I don't use a fine mesh.  If you prefer a finer soup, use a fine meshed sieve.  Salt, if needed, and pepper to taste.
Put the soup into a container and seal.  Refrigerate until chilled.  Can be made a couple of days ahead.

For the garlic cream:
2 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon butter
1 1/2 Cups heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon sugar
Pinch of salt

In a medium pot, melt the butter over low heat.  Add the garlic and sauté until lightly browned.  Add the cream, sugar and pinch of salt.  Let simmer for about 8 minutes.
Purée in a blender.  Place into a container and seal.  Refrigerate until chilled.  Can be made a couple of days ahead.

For the prawns:
12 Extra large Gulf white prawns
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Peel and devein the prawns.  Skew each prawn length wise once through the tail and then through the upper body.  Brush each with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill until just cooked through.

To Serve:
Fill each glass with about 1.5-2 ounces of the soup.  Spoon a little of the cream on top and finish with the shrimp skewer laid across the glass.

The soup was a little thicker than I wanted.  Next time, I'll make it thinner as it thickened a bit once it chilled.  Other than that, delish!


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