This is a favourite soup of mine when I want to do something special. Peas and artichokes are a great combination and here when pureed with the garlic, leek and onion, the flavour is sublime. I like to use baby peas but any frozen peas will do. The fried goat’s curd is the ‘icing on the cake’ so to speak and really adds that textural element that raises this soup above the ordinary. This recipe with serve 6 as an entrée.
Artichoke and pea soup with fried curd
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 leek, white part only, thinly sliced
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
3 young garlic bulbs, thinly sliced
1 litre chicken stock
7 globe artichokes, trimmed, chokes removed, placed in acidulated water
250g frozen peas, defrosted
100g crème fraîche
Vegetable oil, for shallow trying
240g log of goat’s curd, cut into 12 rounds
For dusting: plain flour
For coating: eggwash
100g dried fine white breadcrumbs
Radish cress, to serve
Heat olive oil in a casserole or large saucepan over medium heat. Add leek, onion and garlic and stir occasionally until tender (5-7 minutes). Add stock and bring to the simmer. Drain artichokes, add to pan and simmer until very tender (20-25 minutes). Add peas and simmer until bright green (1-2 minutes). Purée with a hand-held blender until smooth, stir in crème fraîche, season to taste and keep warm.
Heat 1cm vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Dust goat’s curd in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, shaking off excess. Shallow-fry, turning once, until golden and crisp (2-3 minutes; be careful, hot oil will spit). Drain on absorbent paper and serve hot with soup scattered with radish cress.