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English Pea Soup With Mint & Crab

'Late-harvest spring' by chef Michelle Bernstein

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4 strips of bacon, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 shallots, chopped

1 leek, white part only, sliced thin

6 cups chicken stock

1½ cups sugar snap peas, sliced

1½ cups snow peas, sliced

1½ cups Fresh or frozen peas

*if desired, 1 cup Fava beans

¼ cup Italian parsley leaves, packed

¼ cup mint leaves packed

3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

Pinch cayenne pepper

 

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; prepare an ice bath; have a small strainer ready.

Blanch the herbs for 10 seconds and immediately place them in ice water.  Squeeze all excess liquid out of herbs.  Using the same water, cook the sugar snap peas and snow peas for 1 minute, add the peas and continue cooking until all vegetables are nice and tender but still bright green, about another minute.  Shock in ice water, drain.

 

In a medium saucepan, cook the bacon over medium-low heat until crispy but not too much color.  Add the oil, shallot, leek and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer until leek is tender.  Puree in a blender until smooth, pour into a bowl over a bowl of ice water.  Puree the blanched vegetables and herbs, add a little of the cooled broth until very smooth.  Season with salt and cayenne.

 

Garnish

1 cup blanched snow peas, sliced in 3rds

1 cup blanched snap peas, sliced in 3rds

 

Stone Crab Cream

3 Jumbo or large stone crab claws

2 cups heavy cream

1 sprig thyme

1 sprig rosemary

Remove all meat from crabs.  Place the shells and cream in a sauce, add the herbs and bring to a simmer.  Reduce by ¼ of the way down. Strain and cool.  Season to taste with salt.