Crème Ninon – French Green Pea Soup

Kalle Bergman with a creamy and elegant take on the classic French Crème Ninon green pea soup.
By Kalle Bergman – Photo by Mads Damgaard

I admit to being a pea-thief. Yes it’s a tragedy for my family, but it is a fact and I have to confess. Every time I pass a field of growing peas, I can’t stop myself from climbing over the fence and onto the field to sample the merchandise. It’s not okay. I know. But it is just one of those things that I have to do. I can’t just pass a whole field of sweet green peas without tasting them, can I? Can you?

I think the main reason I love peas so much is that they’re perfect just the way they are. Many vegetables just get better when you cook them, but if you are able to find peas that are just ripe, there is absolutely nothing you can do to them that will improve their taste. They are already perfect. The way they snap when you open them. The way their sweetness hits your palate. The exploding sound when you chew them. Like a small pod of concentrated summer that bursts onto your tongue and immediately starts growing more summers within your mouth. Doing anything else with them besides putting them in your mouth is not just a shame. It’s a sin.

When summer is gone and fresh peas are scarce, I often find myself turning to frozen peas. They´re obviously not the same thing as the ones you ”sample” in the field, but they are actually really good. And my favorite way of utilizing them is to make a lovely French green pea soup. With just some cream, butter and salt – this is a fancy dish without adding anything fancy to it (but you can always go extra decadent by adding a splash of champagne table side before serving).

4.5 from 2 reviews
Crème Ninon - Green Pea Soup
 
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
 
A creamy and elegant take on the classic French Creme Ninon green pea soup.
Author:
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2½ Cups of frozen green peas
  • 1¼ Cup of heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon of organic butter
  • 1?2 Cup of white wine
  • 1 Shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 Cup of chicken stock
  • Salt and white pepper
Instructions
  1. Saute the shallots in half of the butter in a large sauce pan until soft but not browned.
  2. Add the wine and boil until reduced by about a third.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and the peas and simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. Pour in the cream, simmer for another 2 minutes and then blend until very smooth using a hand blender or a food processor. Pass through a sieve.
  5. Whisk in the rest of the butter, and season with salt and white pepper.
  6. Just before serving, blend the surface of the soup with the hand blender to create a foam.
Notes
To add a bit of elegance - pour a small amount of Champagne into each dish after serving the soup.
Kalle Bergman

Kalle Bergman

Kalle Bergman is a food writer and media entrepreneur who is the founder of Honest Cooking. As a food writer, his writing has been regularly featured in publications like Gourmet, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and Serious Eats. He is obsessed with simple food, more often than not from his native Scandinavia.

More Posts - Website - Facebook

10 Comments
  1. I bet this is good chilled, too (for those of us who like to pretend that summer truly ends mid-September, and not Labor Day). To serve cold, I’d imagine you’d have to substitute water for chicken stock, wouldn’t you? (Chicken stock in cold soup isn’t the greatest–coats the mouth in a weird way, take my word for it!). Anyway, i love this recipe, because it’s so pure–not complicated with herbs and unnecessary ingredients like lettuce, etc. Well done.

  2. This looks wondeful. I do so love a good pea soup. I’ve never seen a field of peas from which to “sample” but you do remind me of my neighbor. I grow basil and little currant tomatoes outside my front door and I thought the birds were getting them before I was … it was so frustrating to watch the little buds turn red only to disappear a day later. Finally, months into the season, my neighbor saw me pruning back the tomato plant and said “I can’t help myself, every time I pass your plants I snip off some basil and sample those tomatoes. I just can’t help myself!” She smiled as if this was perfectly okay and even funny…without realizing she was getting the majority of my crop. I just smiled and said “glad you enjoyed them” … and then moved them inside a few weeks later. Now, if I had an entire field, like your pea field, it wouldn’t be so bad…but this was just one plant!

  3. Tried this without the wine, blended it in a traditional blender before adding the cream stovetop.. Used black pepper instead of white & it was DELICIOUS! Never made anything like this, but I definitely will again! Quick & Easy.

  4. I had no Shallot or Wine.
    I diced half a medium sized yellow onion in place of the Shallot.
    I used Mocktail Sangria in place of the wine.
    Blended after adding the cream in an upright blender.

    Final result could have passed for fine dining. 4/5 stars as the amount of cream is so high, but the flavor and texture is so worth it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Rate Recipe: