Chilled Pea Soup with Mint, Curried Shrimp and Peanuts
Cold soups generally leave you cold. They just seem like an excuse for a cold drink. But this one is an exception. Prepared with all the prescribed accoutrements - curried shrimp, shredded carrots, and toasted nuts - this dish is a perfectly refreshing warm-weather meal.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 cups shelled fresh or defrosted frozen peas
- 2 1/2 cups canned chicken broth or chicken stock
- 1 to 2 tablespoons rinsed, dried, and chopped fresh mint leaves or to taste
- 2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk
- Kosher salt and freshly milled black pepper
- 1/2 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts or raw cashews
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and halved crosswise
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt-free packaged garam masala, curry powder, or Todd’s Garam Masala
- 2 medium carrots, coarsely shredded (about 1 cup)
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat until hot. Reduce the heat to medium; add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the peas and broth; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook, uncovered, until the peas are tender, 2 to 5 minutes. Transfer half of the soup mixture to a blender and puree with half of the mint; strain through a medium sieve into a medium bowl. Repeat with the remaining soup and mint. Stir in the buttermilk and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Just before serving, heat the peanuts in a large skillet over high heat, stirring frequently, until they begin to toast, about 3 minutes. Remove them to a bowl and set aside. Toss the shrimp with the garam masala until evenly coated. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the same skillet until hot. Reduce the heat to medium, add the shrimp, and sauté until golden and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Set aside in the skillet.
Toss the carrots with the lime juice, sesame oil and salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into chilled bowls and top each portion with some of the carrot salad, some of the shrimp and oil from the skillet, and the peanuts.
Tip: HOW TO QUICK CHILL: Whenever you have a bottle of wine or a liquid that you want to chill quickly, the easiest and fastest way to do so is to put it into another container of ice and water. For soup, just put it in a bowl, preferably metal, and set that bowl in another bowl of ice and water. If you stir it every so often, you will speed up the process even more.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Broadway Books. All rights reserved.
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