Chilled Pea Soup
For crème fraîche: In a screw-top jar, shake together the cream and buttermilk. Leave covered jar at room temperature for 2 hours, then chill until needed (up to 2 weeks).Advertisement
For soup: Cook peas in boiling water for 45 seconds or until bright green. Using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer peas to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain.
In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, parsley and chives. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until onions are tender but not browned.
In a blender, combine the peas, onion mixture, vegetable stock, yogurt, salt and pepper. Cover and blend for 2 minutes, blending in batches if needed. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, using a spoon to press mixture through. Chill at least 1 hour.
For almonds: Preheat oven to 350°. Place almonds in a shallow baking pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until toasted. Let cool completely. Place nuts in a food processor. Cover and process in short pulses until nuts are finely chopped. (Do not over-process or nuts will turn to almond butter.)
To serve, top bowls of soup with a drizzle of crème fraîche and a sprinkle of ground almonds.
*To Use Fresh Peas
Chef Andy Schudlich makes this soup with fresh shelled peas, which are available seasonally (or at some stores, such as Trader Joe’s). To make the soup with fresh peas, increase the cooking time in Step 2 to 2 to 3 minutes (until the peas are bright green and tender). Continue as directed.