SERVES 6 TO 8
One of my favorite activities on a hot day in Boca Grande, Florida, is having a picnic lunch with my friends Emerson and Barbara Wickwire. Both are fantastic cooks, and I love Barbara’s Chilled Pea Soup that she serves in cups from which we sip. Her quickly prepared recipe is delicious. I sometimes like to sauté a chopped onion first and simmer it with the peas and chicken stock.
3 tablespoons olive oil (optional)
1 large onion, chopped (optional)
1 quart The Essential Homemade Chicken Stock, or good-quality canned chicken stock or broth
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen peas (“petite” or baby frozen peas have the best flavor), thawed
1 cup half and half
25 fresh mint leaves, plus extra for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté it, stirring occasionally, until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the chicken stock and peas and bring to a simmer; then remove the pot from the heat.
Stir the half and half, and mint leaves into the soup mixture. Let cool at room temperature for a few minutes. Then, using an immersion blender, or working carefully in batches in a blender or food processor, puree the soup.
Transfer the soup to a covered container and chill in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours. Before serving, stir or shake the soup and ladle into chilled cups, mugs, or bowls. Serve immediately, garnished with mint leaves.