Cooking Vacations with The International Kitchen: Recipe of the Month
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Chilled pea soup with goats cheese

July 2015

The market in Dieppe is the largest in all of Normandy, and guests of our new cooking vacation Cuisine and Markets of Coastal Normandy can get all the ingredients for this recipe there. But these ingredients are also readily available just about anywhere in the U.S. too, especially when the season is right. Keep your kitchen cool this Summer and enjoy a family dinner together with this fabulous recipe from Chef Colin, who leads the cooking classes in our newest Normandy culinary vacation.

Ingredients

4 servings

  • 350 g (1.5 cups) fresh peas, shelled
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 handful fresh almonds
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) ash-covered goats cheese (not too compact) or fresh goats cheese
  • 35 g (1/3 stick) butter
  • 3 tbsp thick cream
  • 1 L (4 cups) chicken broth
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions

1. Start by cooking the peas for 7 minutes in the chicken broth and peeled garlic clove.
2. Drain the peas, but reserve the stock and discard the garlic.
3. Peel and chop the spring onions. Add these spring onions to the peas along with half of the basil bunch (which has already been roughly chopped) and whiz in a food processor.
4. To the spring onion, peas, and basil mixture, add some of the chicken stock until you obtain the desired consistency, but keep whatever stock you don’t use. (You’ll want this remaining stock in case the soup thickens as it later chills. You can simply add a couple of tablespoons of cold stock to loosen up the soup’s consistency later on).
5. Season to taste with the salt and pepper, and then add the butter and blend again. Allow to cool and chill in the fridge.
6. While the pea mixture is chilling, mash the goats cheese with the thick cream.
7. Finely chop the remaining basil, chop the almonds, and add both the basil and almonds to the cream mixture. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
8. Form small quenelles of goats cheese mixture using 2 teaspoons.
9. Serve the chilled soup by placing the quenelles in the soup.

Chef Colin also likes to add a pinch of cayenne or Esplette pepper to give the soup a little kick! The creamy goats cheese will mellow out the flavors of the cayenne or Esplette pepper.

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