Sweet Pea Soup with Warm Lardons

Chef Jeff Raider at Valley at the Garrison Restaurant in Garrison, New York, combines fresh peas with pea leaves and fresh mint for this singularly colored summer soup.


An oaked Loire Sauvignon Blanc offers both creamy complexity and freshness, matching the like elements in this soup: recommended producers include Didier Dagueneau in Pouilly-Fumé, and Lucien Crochet and Pascal Jolivet in Sancerre.

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ small spring onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 2 ¼ cups light chicken stock or water
  • 1 ¼ cups fresh peas
  • 1 ¼ cups tightly packed fresh pea leaves
  • 14 leaves fresh mint (no stems)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped into small lardon slab bacon

Heat the olive oil in a medium nonreactive soup pot over medium heat. Add the spring onion and garlic and sweat until soft. Do not allow to color.

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the peas and simmer until the peas are tender. Pour the contents into a blender and process on high speed until smooth. Add the raw pea leaves and process again until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the soup to a nonreactive container, cover, and refrigerate until chilled.

When ready to serve, in a small skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on paper towels. To serve, ladle the soup into stemmed glasses or small cups and garnish each serving with some of the lardons.

Published on December 17, 2009