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Green pea soup with parmesan marshmallow

You'll need

¼ bunch thyme 2 fresh bay leaves 30 gm butter, coarsely chopped 30 ml extra-virgin olive oil 6 golden shallots, thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1 litre (4 cups) good-quality chicken stock, brought to a simmer 1.1 kg frozen peas, defrosted 200 ml pouring cream To serve: baby basil and baby rocket leaves   Parmesan marshmallow 400 ml milk 5 gm powdered agar agar (see note) 100 gm Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated, plus extra for rolling 2 eggwhites   Basil oil 2 cups (loosely packed) basil (about 1 bunch) 150 ml extra-virgin olive oil


  • 01
  • For parmesan marshmallow, combine milk and agar agar in a saucepan and stir to combine. Add parmesan, bring to the simmer over low heat, whisking continuously. Simmer to infuse (5 minutes), then strain through a fine sieve into a cold bowl and cool until starting to thicken (5-7 minutes). Whisk eggwhite and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form, fold through milk mixture in batches, season to taste, then pour into a 15cm x 20cm tray lined with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set (2-3 hours). Using a hot knife, cut into 2cm squares, roll in Parmigiano-Reggiano and refrigerate until required.
  • 02
  • For basil oil, blanch basil (30 seconds) and refresh. Squeeze excess water from basil and purée in a blender with oil until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve lined with muslin and refrigerate until required. Makes about 160ml. Basil oil will keep refrigerated for 2 days.
  • 03
  • Tie thyme and bay leaves in a bundle with kitchen string. Heat butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until butter begins to foam (1-2 minutes). Add shallot, garlic and tied herbs and sauté until shallot is soft (5-7 minutes). Add stock and 1kg peas and bring to the boil. Add cream, return to the boil, then strain through a fine sieve, reserving liquid and solids separately (discard herbs). Process pea mixture in a blender, adding enough liquid (about 250ml) to make a smooth purée. Add remaining liquid, pass through a fine sieve, season to taste and keep warm.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, blanch remaining peas until tender (1-2 minutes), refresh, and combine with basil and rocket in a small bowl. Drizzle with basil oil, toss to combine. Divide soup among bowls, garnish with pea mixture and serve hot with parmesan marshmallow to the side.
Note Agar agar, a gelling agent derived from seaweed, is available from Asian grocers and The Essential Ingredient.

This recipe is from the November 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

“My family held a get-together at Richmond’s Church St Enoteca recently, and I enjoyed the pea soup with unusual parmesan marshmallows. Would you please request the recipe?”
Melissa Davison, South Yarra, Vic

Request a recipe
To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant’s name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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