We'd lingered too long at home before heading out to run errands on a recent Saturday morning, and by the time we had returned home from our "in town" business we were famished. In a matter of 20 minutes we were sitting under the apple tree to this sprightly verdant soup. I've waited nearly that long at a fast-food drive up window, but with provisions as delightful and simple as this, why would I ever again do that?
King Estate's 2008 Signature Viognier provided a lovely counterpoint with its juicy pineapple and honeysuckle notes. This wine is highly aromatic and has a snappy balance. King Estate is a quintessential Oregon winery that produces highly consistent wines that appear on wine lists throughout the U. S. There are many reasons to like King Estate wines, and this lovely Viognier is one of them. Another is that the winery is only 45 minutes through the countryside from our home.
Lemony Minted Fresh Pea Soup
3 green onions, sliced thinly, including some of the green ends
2 tablespoons butter
One pound shelled peas,
One cup half-and-half, more or less, to suit your fancy
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped, more for garnish
Zest of half of one lemon, additional for garnish
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Melt the butter in a small soup pot. Just before it reaches a good bubbling, add the green onion. Stir frequently to soften, about 1-2 minutes. Add peas, mint and cream. Turn heat down to medium-low, cover and simmer for 4 minutes. The goal is to barely cook the peas but retain their fresh brightness; too much time on the stove will turn them a dull dingy gray-green. Stir in lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste. Blend thoroughly with an immersion blender until very smooth and creamy. Add more warmed cream to thin the soup as desired.
If you are serving this to The Queen, strain through a fine mesh strainer for maximum silkiness. If you are sharing this on a late Saturday afternoon under the apple tree with your baby, you can skip that step. Garlicky crostini and a hunk of Canadian white cheddar rounds the meal out nicely.