Gayles Minted Pea Soup

Serves 8

4 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 small shallot, chopped
2 lbs. fresh or frozen petite peas
3 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. white pepper
1/4 cup crème frâiche or heavy cream (optional)
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint

Heat the butter in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté until soft. Add the peas, stirring well to coat. Pour in the stock and bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until the peas are very soft.

Puree the soup through a food processor, blender, food mill or sieve. Return the pureed soup to the pot, and add the salt, pepper and cream, if using. Just before serving, stir in the chopped mint. Serve warm or chilled.
(Rebecca Ets-Hokin)