Any recipe with the words ‘Saint-Germain’ or ‘Clamart’ in the title means the dish contains peas, since both areas of Paris were once famous for growing them. This is a very simple soup, made principally of dried split peas, though both the flavour and the colour are improved if you include some fresh petits pois, turning a determinedly khaki presentation into something more appealingly green. The technique here is contemporary, though the recipe is generally traditional.
Rinse the split peas under cold running water, then put them in a pan with
Blanch the frozen peas for 1 minute in rapidly boiling water. Drain and reserve. Sweat the onions in the butter until soft and translucent, adding the garlic for the last minute or so. Transfer to a blender or food processor and add the split peas with their cooking water and the blanched frozen peas. Add
Return to the pan, taste and adjust the seasoning. Heat through gently, being careful not to boil. Serve with croutons fried crisp in unsalted butter or with some shredded mint leaves scattered on top.
© 1998 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.