Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Oobleck Soup

This is Ina Garten's soup recipe, and I'm sorry to say that she misnamed it "fresh pea soup."  While it is amazingly fresh and contains many peas, it is clearly Oobleck soup.  It's so grrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!
I thought that I knew Dr. Seuss' story of Bartholomew and the Oobleck, but upon looking into it, I don't believe I've actually ever read this book.  My favorite Seuss story is still On Beyond Zebra.  I love the idea of creating language, how a single new letter births forth an entire new fold in the universe: linguistic manifest destiny.
Well, apparently poor Bartholomew has the difficult task of saving his foolish king and their kingdom from these giant green globs of oobleck that fall from the sky in place of normal weather.  Even though oobleck is not such a welcomed presence in the book, its namesake soup is a welcome addition to anyone's kitchen and belly.
It can be served hot or cold, which makes it a perfect fresh but warm soup for the winter and a fabulous light and chilled soup for the summer.  Added bonus: it's super easy.  I mean, really easy.  (Especially if you have an immersion blender!)

Okay.  Stop reading now and go make this soup.  Your kingdom will thank you.

"Oobleck Soup," an Ina Garten Recipe from Barefoot Contessa at Home

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
1 cup chopped yellow onion
4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
5 cups freshly shelled peas or 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen peas
2/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1/2 cup freshly chopped chives
Garlic croutons, for serving (to make: cube up some bread, sauté in pan with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and minced garlic until dry and toasted on all sides)

Heat the butter in a large saucepan, add the leeks and onion, and cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the onion is tender. Add the chicken stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add the peas and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the peas are tender. (Frozen peas will take only 3 minutes.) Off the heat, add the mint, salt, and pepper.

Blend soup with immersion blender or puree the soup in batches.  Whisk in the creme fraiche and chives and taste for seasoning. Serve hot or cold with garlic croutons.