3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, lightly crushed
1 1/2 cups sliced leek, white and pale green parts only
½ cup dry white wine
2 1/4 cups chicken stock mixed with 2 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 1/2 cups shelled English peas (about 4 1/2 pounds unshelled)
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Crème fraîche, fresh mint, basil, finely sliced fresh chives, and/or crispy prosciutto, for garnish
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Add the garlic and let it sizzle for about 1 minute, then add the leek. Stir often while cooking until soft, about 8 minutes. Do not let them brown. Add white wine and cook until reduced by about half. Then pour the diluted stock into the saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Add the heavy cream and peas bring to a simmer. Maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the peas are just tender, about 8 minutes. Add the parsley and thyme and simmer for 1 minute longer, then remove from the heat. Transfer in batches to a blender and puree, adding more of the stock-water mixture as needed to thin the soup to a pleasing consistency. Pour soup into a bowl set in an ice bath and stir until cooled (we want to cool it down as quickly as possible). Serve soup with optional garnishes.
Refreshing and light, this soup is perfect as an appetizer shot or a first course with 2015 Dollarhide Estate Vineyard Virtú. Pairing it with a bacon and chevre grilled cheese makes for a delightful brunch or light lunch.