Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 15: Sweet Pea Soup with Parmigiano Toast

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoons dried thyme
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
   A couple of dashes of hot sauce, such as Tabasco
2 10-ounce boxes frozen peas
1 quart chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
8 slices baguette
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
   Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat with the EVOO. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove the crispy bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel. Add the onions, garlic, and thyme to the pot and season with salt, pepper, and a few dashes of hot sauce.

Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the onions are tender. Add the frozen peas and continue to cook until the peas are defrosted and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the onions and peas to a blender or food processor with 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and puree until smooth.

Add the pureed peas back to the soup pot and stir in the remaining 3 1/2 cups of chicken stock and the cream, bring up to a simmer, and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, toast the baguette slices until golden brown in the broiler or toaster oven. In a bowl, mix the Parmesan with the reserved crispy bacon and the parsley.

Once the toast is nice and golden, sprinkle the bacon-Parmesan mixture over the bread and return to the broiler or toaster oven to melt and lightly brown the cheese.

To finish the soup, add the lemon zest and juice, stir to combine, and transfer the soup to serving bowls. Float 2 Parmesan toasts on top of each soup bowl and serve immediately.


This meal is kinda weird. First of all, the soup is a little raw tasting. The toasts in the soup are weird too, because they get soggy right away, and then you can't eat them. The cheese didn't melt, so I just scraped the cheese mixture off into my soup. That way it had a nice bacony flavor. This is the master recipe, so I really hope the spinach and the broccoli soup will be a little better. I switched the Parmigiano to Parmesan, but that's the only thing I changed.

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