Chilled Pea Soup With Creme Fraiche, Lemon and Tarragon

Caption 01: Photo by Lynda Balslev for TasteFood

On warmer days, chilled soups are a bright and refreshing alternative to a steaming bowl of soup. In fact, the slightly chilled temperature often amplifies the flavor and freshness of the ingredients, especially when the soup is as elegantly simple as this pea soup.

Light and luscious, this pea soup is a lovely spring teaser. A billowy puree of sweet peas is lifted and brightened by swirls of lemon-flecked creme fraiche. The anise-scented tarragon and slivers of peppery pink radish finish the soup, adding a shock of contrasting color and the satisfying bite of a crisp crudite.

I prefer the savory flavor of the chicken stock in this recipe, but additional water may be substituted for a vegetarian version — in which case, be sure to taste and adjust the seasoning accordingly. The soup may be served slightly chilled or at room temperature. Serve as a light first course for three to four people, or divvy it up between six to eight demitasse cups for a pretty appetizer.

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Lynda Balslev is the co-author of “Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture” (Gibbs Smith, 2014). Contact her at TasteFood, c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to Or visit the TasteFood blog at

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