Chilled Pea Soup with Crispy Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Croutons



Sometimes you just don’t know what you’re missing in life.  Well, at least until you drive it, taste it….go on a date with it.  Anyway, you get the point.  There are a million things in this world that we don’t dare try because it just doesn’t sound good.  I will raise my hand right now and proudly proclaim that I have never ever ever had the desire to eat cold soup.  Ever.  Soup = hot (in my world).  Well, that all changed on Monday night.  


I had an epic haul of peas in my garden this year.  I finally harvested the remaining vines on Monday just before a serious heat wave and was looking for some way to use up a few (a few = 5 cups).  

My trusty helper – Connor.

I asked my Facebook group what they wanted to see on FG this week.  One of my dear friends, Gordon, chimed in with “veggies”.  I just so happen to have a ton of those…well, the pea variety at least.  

This soup is so incredibly easy to make, and would be great for a hot evening on the patio.  Its cool and creamy with a bit of crunch from the crispy prosciutto and a bit tart from the goat cheese croutons.  The men in my life, who were completely skeptical about eating cold soup, fought over who was going to get to eat the rest.  I guess we’re all converts now into the wonders of chilled soup!  I hope you will be too!!


Chilled Pea Soup with Crispy Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Croutons

This is a quick soup to make and great for entertaining as it can be prepared far in advance and served chilled.  For extra smoothness, pass through a fine meshed sieve before chilling.
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Ingredients
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium leeks, white and light green part, thinly sliced
1 cup onions, diced
3 medium carrots, diced
4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable)
5 cups fresh peas or frozen
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream
4 slices prosciutto, quartered
6 goat cheese rounds (plain or garlic herb)
1 egg
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chives, snipped

Instructions
Soup

  1. Heat butter in a large saucepan until melted.  Add the leeks, onions and carrots and saute until tender over medium heat, about 10 minutes.  
  2. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat.  Add peas and cook for about 3 minutes, just until the peas become tender.  Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.  
  3. Working in small batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth.  Repeat with the remaining soup.  Pass through a fine meshed sieve set over a large storage container or bowl.  Press any solids and discard.
  4. Whisk in the sour cream and cover and chill for 3-4 hours.  
Prosciutto
  1. Fry the prosciutto quarters in a small frying pan set over high heat until crisp.  Drain on paper towels and set aside.  Can be prepared a day in advance and kept in an airtight container.
Goat Cheese Croutons
  1. Place the egg, flour and panko on 3 separate small plates.  Whisk the egg lightly with a fork.  Dip the goat cheese rounds in the flour, then egg and finally in the panko.  Set aside on a plate and repeat with the remaining 5 goat cheese pieces.  
  2. Just before serving, heat the 1/2 cup olive oil in a small frying pan over high heat.  Add the goat cheese and fry until golden, then flip.  Remove to a paper towel and allow to drain for a minute.  
Assembly
  1. Ladle the soup into 6 bowls.  Crumble the prosciutto into small pieces and scatter over the soup.  Top with a crouton and a sprinkling of chives and serve immediately.  
Makes 6 Servings

 

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