Spring Pea Soup with Burrata

Spring Pea Soup with BurrataGolden
My parents celebrated their 50th Anniversary over the weekend. Stop and think about that for a minute. 50 years. How much of their world has changed and what have they experienced since 1967? (And not just the birth of my sister and me!)

In 1967, Lyndon B. Johnson was the 36th President, and the Vietnam War was in full swing. Ronald Reagan was sworn in as our new Governor in January. A fire killed the crew of the Apollo 1 spacecraft while they were testing on the launch pad, and halted the space race in the US for almost 2 years. The Pirates of The Caribbean attraction opened at Disneyland, in California. The Bee Gees released their first international album. Lastly, Elvis and Priscilla got married. But that wasn’t the biggest wedding of the year. The biggest event, at least to my sister and me, happened March 18th in Oakland, CA.

To be married for 50 years is no small feat. It’s not as common an occurrence as it used to be. Frankly, the fact that my mother has survived my Dad’s snoring for that long without smothering him with a pillow is mindblowing…

There is no way you can let such a milestone like this pass like it is any other day. We celebrated as a family, in style. ‘Cause that’s how we roll. There was a limo and there were fancy clothes. And, because it’s us, there was food. Really good food. And plenty of good things to drink with it, courtesy of Boulevard in San Francisco.

If you ever have the opportunity to dine at Boulevard, do it. I have been there multiple times, and it is always fantastic. That particular night, I enjoyed a green English Pea soup that was amazing. Like, lick the bowl amazing. Alas, that particular recipe is not in their cookbook. (I happen to own a copy…shocking, I know) Nancy, if you or any of your fantastic staff are reading this (‘cause why wouldn’t she?) I would love to have the recipe or maybe even an updated cookbook?

For now, I am on the hunt for something that might come close. I am working with the recipe I posted below—perhaps it’s the closest yet? But we’ll see. The first-of-the-season English peas should be in the market soon. Though, with the return of the rain, who knows? In the meant time some quality, organic, frozen peas will be used. When you do get your hands on some fresh peas, grab as many as you can. And try this cream-free soup as a perfect spring lunch or light dinner.

Spring Pea Soup with Burrata
Yields 4 servings

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium leek
2 teaspoons sea salt (plus more as needed)
2 1/2 cups Kitchen Basics Chicken Stock
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
3 cups shelled fresh peas (from about 2 1/2 pounds of peas in their pods)
1/4 cup loosely packed, fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed
1/2 cup Belfiora Burrata

Trim the root from the leek, slice it in half lengthwise, rinse it thoroughly, and slice it into thin strips.

Over medium heat, melt the butter in a medium saucepan until it starts to foam. Add the leek, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and a pinch of black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the leeks are softened. (about 3 minutes)

Add the chicken broth, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and remained of the pepper. Bring the stock to a boil. Add the peas and bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the peas are tender.(about 5 minutes)

Remove the pan from the heat, add the mint leaves, and stir to combine. Allow the soup to sit uncovered until the flavors meld. (about 10 minutes)

Using an immersion blender*, purée the soup directly in the pot until silky smooth. Stir in the lemon juice. Taste and season with more salt, pepper, and lemon juice as needed. Reheat the soup over low heat to reach a good serving temperature.

Place a heaping tablespoon (or two) of the burrata in the bottom center of 4 serving bowls. Carefully ladle the pea soup over the cheese. Serve immediately.

*If using a traditional blender, puree in batches with the small cap removed and covered with a cloth towel or napkin. This will allow the steam to escape, and not splash. Otherwise, the lid could pop off while blending.

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