Fresh Pea Soup
This soup is known in France as Potage Saint-Germain, a name that comes from a suburb where the peas used to be cultivated in market gardens. If fresh peas are not available, use frozen peas, but thaw and rinse them befoe use.
2 tablespoons butter
2 or 3 shallots, finely chopped
3 cups shelled fresh peas (from about 3 pounds garden peas) or thawed frozen peas
3-4 tablespoons whipping cream (optional)
croutons, to garnish
1. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan or flameproof casserole. Add the shallots and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add 2 cups water and the peas, and seaon with salt.
3. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes for young or frozen peas and up to 18 minutes for large or older peas, stirring occasionally.
4. When the peas are tender, ladle them into a food processor or blender with a little of the cooking liquid and process until smooth.
5. Strain the soup into the saucepan or casserole, stir in the cream, if using, and heat through without boiling. Season with salt and serve hot, garnish with croutons.