Cold Pea Soup with Shrimp and Carrot Salad

IMG_2338Cold 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 chicken broth
1 to 2 tablespoons rinsed, dried, and chopped fresh mint or basil 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 homemade recipe below), 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 carefully (put a towel over the top of the blender, and start in low) 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 medium low heat, stirring frequently, until they turn a shade darker and smell fragrant. 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. Let cool.
Toss the carrots with the lime juice, sesame oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle the soup into small mason jars with screw tops and pack the shrimp, carrots and peanuts in separate carrying containers. When it is time to eat, let everyone top their own soup with the garnishes.


Homemade Garam Masala
Makes about 2/3 cup

2 tablespoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
1 ½ tablespoons green cardamom pods
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons whole cloves
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 cinnamon stick, 2 ½ inches long
4 Turkish bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

Combine the cumin, peppercorns, cardamom pods, coriander, cloves, fennel, cinnamon and bay leaves in a large dry skillet. Toast the spices over high heat, tossing or stirring them occasionally, until they have browned lightly and are fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the spice mixture to a bowl to cool.

When the garam masala has cooled, grind it into a fine powder in a spice grinder, clean coffee grinder, sturdy blender, or mortar and pestle. Transfer the ground masala to a bowl and whisk in the ginger and nutmeg.

Store the garam masala in an airtight container, away from heat, light, and moisture, for up to 6 months.

Mail order source for garam masala:
123 Lexington Ave.,
New York, NY 10016


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For more than half a century, Maple Leaf Farms has provided the luxurious taste of duck to culinary adventurers everywhere. From the farm to the table, producing safe, high-quality foods in a thoughtful and responsible manner has been at the forefront. Maple Leaf Farms has preserved the ideas it was founded upon: contribution to local communities, responsibility for the environment, respect for others and insistence on high quality. Today, this fourth generation, family-owned company leads the market with innovative, value-added duck products of superior quality. In short, Maple Leaf Farms provides products for your family that it’s happy to serve its own with the goal of transforming ordinary dishes into lasting memories with the versatile flavor of duck.


EZRA’S Family has been producing Feta cheese in the Mediterranean region for more than 100 years. The recipes have been passed from generation to generation. This is the first time we introduce an authentic Mediterranean Feta cheese produced in the USA to the US consumers. Ezra’s Feta is creamy and smooth with a very authentic flavor. Unlike the traditional style feta which is very crumbly and in many cases sold as crumbled Feta, EZRA’S Feta is sold as chunks, sliced cubes that can be used in salads, sandwiches, pizza, pasta, baking, cooking and many other options. EZRA’S Feta is also available as a lite Feta with only 1.5g of fat per oz, but with all of the flavors and creaminess like the original. EZRA’S Feta is sold in a “Stay Fresh Cup” with brine to maintain freshness and flavors. The cheese is kept in a small basket in the brine that can be lifted and hung on top of the cup, out of the brine for convenient use. When finished enjoying the Feta you can lower it back into the brine to maintain freshness at all times.

Thanks to

Fairway for donating all the food | Chantal for the cookware | Le Creuset for the Dutch ovens | Wustoff for the knives | Boos for the cutting boards | Kitchen Aid for the appliances | Oxo for the small kitchen tools |

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