I love recipes that are simple and elegant – the kind that produce finished dishes that look sophisticated but are quick and easy to prepare, and require no unusual or hard to find ingredients. This Pea Parmesan Soup hits the mark on all counts. You can throw it together at the last-minute on a busy weeknight, or prepare it ahead time for a fancy dinner party. I usually serve this soup as a first course, but you can make it a complete meal by omitting the prosciutto, stirring in chunks of good quality ham, and serving it with a salad and some crusty french bread.
Lay the prosciutto slices on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until crispy.
Here’s what the prosciutto looks like when it’s done.
Once it is cool enough to handle break the slices into small pieces over a bowl and set aside.
This recipe calls for 1 cup of finely chopped onions and 1 lb. of cubed Yukon gold potatoes. This is roughly the equivalent of 1 large onion and 2 medium-sized Yukon gold potatoes.
Melt the butter in a 6 qt. saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Then add the wine and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
After the chicken broth and potatoes are added, simmer the mixture for 5-7 minutes until the potatoes are tender and can be easily pierced with a toothpick.
Now remove the saucepan from the stove, and add the peas, parmesan, and black pepper. Puree the mixture with a stick blender (also called an immersion blender) right in the saucepan. You’ll need to blend it for a couple of minutes to completely puree the peas and potatoes, at which point it will appear thick and creamy. You can also puree the soup in a food processor or blender but you’ll have to do it in batches.
The beauty of this soup is that is has a thick, rich consistency but contains no cream.
The crispy prosciutto and white truffle oil are elegant garnishes and give the soup a sophistication and depth of flavor that would be lacking without them.
For an extra little pop of color you can also use a few peas as a garnish. I always think it’s nice when garnishes reflect the actual ingredients used in a dish.
- 2 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
- 6 Tablespoons butter
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- ½ cup white wine
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 ¼ pounds frozen peas
- 3 ounces finely grated parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons white truffle oil
- ¼ cup defrosted peas (optional garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the prosciutto slices on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Bake until browned and crispy, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool and then break the prosciutto slices into small pieces and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a 6 qt. saucepan over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Raise the heat to high, add the chicken broth and the potatoes, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are tender and can be easily pierced with a toothpick, about 5-7 minutes. Add the peas and cover the saucepan for 3 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat, uncover, and add the parmesan and freshly ground black pepper. Using a stick blender (also called an immersion blender) blend the soup in the saucepan until it has a creamy consistency and all of the peas and potatoes are pureed. Alternatively you can puree the soup in batches in a blender.
- Spoon the soup into bowls and serve with some crispy prosciutto pieces sprinkled in the center and white truffle oil drizzled in a circular pattern around the prosciutto. Garnish with some peas if desired.
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