Nothing could be more refreshing or prettier for a springtime luncheon or dinner than this chilled pea soup with minted mascarpone. This soup is a snap to make. The mint in the Mascarpone adds a fresh and interesting twist.

Note: This soup can also be served hot.

Note: The soup can be made several days before serving.

Note: If you like spicy food, you could drizzle a few drops of hot sauce or a few slivers of jalapenos on top of the soup.

Ingredients

2 cups chicken broth

1 clove garlic

24 ounces (5 cups) frozen peas

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup milk

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon white pepper

Minted Mascarpone

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup (4 ounces) Mascarpone, cold

6 fresh mint leaves, minced, plus 6 whole mint leaves, for garnish

Directions

Pour the chicken broth into a medium saucepan. Add 1 clove of garlic. Bring the broth to a boil over medium heat and cook for several minutes. Remove the broth from heat, add the frozen peas, and mix well. Allow the peas to thaw in the hot broth for a few minutes. Pour the peas, the broth and the garlic clove into a blender and purée until the soup is smooth.

Pour the peas back into the saucepan, add the cream and milk, and bring the soup to a simmer over low heat.  Simmer for 5 minutes and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature. Pour the soup into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours.

For the Minted Mascarpone, whip the cream using a whisk or electric mixer and then stir in the Mascarpone. Just before serving stir the minced mint into the Mascarpone.

To serve, ladle the chilled pea soup into flat soup bowls and garnish each with a dollop of minted Mascarpone with a mint leaf stuck into the Mascarpone.

Serves 6

From Cheese, Glorious Cheese! By Paula Lambert, copyright 2007 by Paula Lambert

For another delicious and light recipe from Paula, try her Crostini Recipe with Roasted Vegetables and Smoked Mozzarella.