Frothy Pea Soup with Cep Powder

Thrill your guests with Jean-Christophe Novelli's modish take on good old pea and ham soup, presented restaurant-style with a nugget of foie gras
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Frothy Pea Soup with Cep Powder
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes plus 3-4 hours drying time
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the cep powder

  • 75-100 g fresh cep mushrooms
  • salt

For the garnish

  • 80 g preserved foie gras
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 25 g unsalted butter

For the soup

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 60 g pancetta, chopped
  • 450 g peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 800 ml light chicken stock
  • 1 sprig mint
  • pinchunrefined caster sugar
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper

Tips and Suggestions


If you do not have a cappuccino frother, use a hand/stick blender to whisk some warmed cream or crème fraîche with the butter in the saucepan.
The cep powder will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container or can be frozen for up to one month.

Method

1. To make the cep powder: clean the ceps and roughly chop them. Season with salt, then place on a baking tray. Leave in the oven on the lowest possible setting for 3-4 hours, or until the ceps are dry and crisp. Transfer the mushrooms to a food processor and grind to a powder. Tip the powder through a fine sieve and store in an airtight container.

2. Lay the foie gras on a sheet of cling film and season with salt and pepper. Roll up very tightly and chill until firm.

3. For the soup, heat the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook gently until translucent, stirring often to prevent browning.

4. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan until very hot. Add the pancetta and quickly fry over a high heat until crisp. Add the pancetta to the saucepan, followed by the peas and garlic. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes.

5. Pour the stock into the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the peas are soft. Add the mint, sugar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.

6. Transfer the soup to a liquidiser and blend until smooth. Pour the soup through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan and reheat, adjusting the seasoning if necessary.

7. Warm 4 soup bowls ready to serve the dish. Cut the wrapped foie gras into rounds about 1.5cm thick, then peel off the cling film. Place a disc of foie gras in the bottom of each bowl. Carefully pour the hot soup on top.

8. Quickly heat the milk and the butter in a small saucepan. Use a cappuccino frother to whisk the milk mixture into a foam. Spoon the foam over the top of each serving of soup. Dust with a little of the cep powder so that the soup resembles a large cappuccino and serve.

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