Environmental Issues: Health

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Recipe of the Month

Chilled English Pea Soup with Dungeness Crab

(Vitaly Paley, Paley's Place, Portland, Oregon)

Makes about 4 cups; serves 2 to 4

  • Whole leaves from 1 bunch basil (reserve the stems)
  • Whole leaves from 1 bunch mint (reserve the stems)
  • 4 cups water
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups shucked English peas
  • 4 ounces Dungeness crabmeat, picked and squeezed dry
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Dash of Tabasco
  • 1/4 cup crème fraîche

Reserve 4 leaves each of basil and mint to garnish the finished soup. Add the remaining basil and mint, stems included, to a soup pot.

Add the 4 cups of water, along with a scant teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from the heat and let the herbs steep in the water until it is cool. Strain and reserve the herb-infused liquid, and discard the cooked herbs.

Have a bowl of ice water ready. Season a pot of with enough salt that you can taste it, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then add the peas. Cook the peas until they are soft yet still retain bright green color, about 5 minutes. Drain the peas and refresh them immediately in the ice water.

In a blender, liquefy the peas along with 2 cups of the herbal infusion. Thin the soup with more infusion if the mixture seems too thick. (If any infusion remains, store it in the refrigerator for another use.) Pass the soup through a coarse strainer and adjust the seasoning. Set aside and keep cold.

In a small bowl, combine crabmeat, lime juice, and Tabasco. Season with salt and pepper and stir to mix well.

To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Gently swirl a spoonful of crème fraîche into each bowl, the garnish with crabmeat. Tear the remaining basil and mint leaves, arrange ontop of each soup, and serve as once.

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