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Recipe: Chilled pea soup with fines herbes

Soup
Blend Fresh herbes with crème fraîche to lighten and enrich a chilled soup.
(Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times)

Total time: 50 minutes

Servings: 4

3 tablespoons butter

12 green onions, white part only, thinly sliced (a generous 1/2 cup)

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Coarse sea salt to taste

4 cups fresh or frozen green peas

5 cups chicken broth

3/4 cup crème fraîche

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1 1/2 tablespoons each finely chopped tarragon, flat-leaf parsley and chervil

3 tablespoons chopped chives

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. In a 2-quart heavy-bottom pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the green onions and sprinkle generously with salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are softened, about 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Stir in the peas, then the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the peas are soft, 15 to 20 minutes. While the peas are cooking, mix the crème fraîche with the tarragon, parsley, chervil and chives in a small bowl; set aside.

3. When the peas are very soft, remove the pot from the heat and purée the contents with an immersion blender (or cool the mixture slightly, then transfer to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth). Press the purée through a coarse strainer into a large bowl. Thoroughly whisk in the herbed crème fraîche. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill before serving. (The soup is also great warm: Just add the herbed crème fraîche and reheat gently.)

Each serving: 350 calories; 16 grams protein; 30 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams fiber; 20 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 41 mg. cholesterol; 131 mg. sodium.


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