Cold soups generally leave me 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.
Makes 4 servings
Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Total preparation time: 25 minutes plus chilling time
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
3 cups shelled fresh or defrosted frozen peas
2 1/2 cups canned chicken broth or Homemade 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, or curry powder
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.