Chilled Pea, Pear and Cucumber Soup
An unusual combination but one that works beautifully; once you have tasted the first cool, smooth spoonful you will see what I mean. The idea was originally inspired by a soup that John Tovey used to make, with watercress in place of the cucumber. Equally nice, but I feel the cucumber helps to further transform it into a chilled soup that has summer sprinkled all over it. The addition of mint also adds to the effect.
You may further wish to garnish the soup with a small dice of fresh, ripe pear, simply for a contrast of textures.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Recipe Coursecold appetizer
Taste and Texturecreamy, savory
Type of Dishcold soup
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 medium white onions, peeled and chopped
- 1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 7 oz frozen peas
- 3 cups light chicken stock (if you want a totally vegetarian version, use vegetable bouillon) salt and pepper
- 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and diced
- 2/3 cup whipping cream
- 1 tbsp chopped mint (apple mint is particularly good here)
- Serve with pears, peeled, cored, and diced (optional)
Melt the butter in a roomy pan and add the onion. Allow to stew quietly for 5 minutes or so and then add the cucumber. Stir in and cook both until limp and tender. Tip in the peas and stock and bring to a boil.
Skim off any resultant scum that forms on the surface, season, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Puree with the pears in a blender and then pass through a sieve into a bowl. Allow to cool to room temperature and then stir in the cream.
Adjust the seasoning once more if necessary and place in the fridge, covered, until really cold; there is nothing worse than a tepid cold soup.
Ladle into chilled soup bowls and sprinkle with mint.
2001, 2008 Simon Hopkinson