English peas, which popped up in the farmer's markets in May, are on their way out of season, so we've been buying them up before they're gone.
We love this Creamed Fresh Pea Soup recipe from The Vegetarian Epicure: Book Two. It's very flavorful and uses lettuce and white wine in the recipe, making it a refreshing change from split pea soup with ham hocks. It also makes great leftovers!
Creamed Fresh Pea Soup 3 1/2 lbs. fresh peas (makes about 4 cups shelled) 1 1/2 quarts water 1/2 medium sized onion, chopped 3 to 4 good-sized sprigs parsley 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp sugar 1 small head butter or Boston lettuce (5 to 6 oz.) 4 tbs. butter 1/2 cup dry white wine 1/4 cup heavy cream dash of white pepper
Shell the peas and put them in a large pot with the water, onions, parsley, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer the soup for about 40 minutes.
Wash and coarsely chop the lettuce. Melt 3 tbs of the butter in a skillet and sauté the lettuce in it until the lettuce is completely soft and most of the excess liquid has evaporate. Add the lettuce and the butter to the soup and continue simmering it for another 10 minutes.
Pureé the soup in a blender, about 2 cups at a time, and return it to the pot. Add the wine and the cream, adjust the seasoning with more salt and a dash of white pepper, and stir in the remaining 1 tbsp of butter. Heat to the simmering point and serve.