3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, lightly crushed
1 1/2 cups sliced leek, white and pale green parts only
3/4 cup diced celery
2 1/4 cups chicken stock mixed with 2 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 1/2 cups shelled English peas (about 4 1/2 pounds unshelled)
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon powdered ascorbic acid (1 tablet vitamin C crushed)
Sea salt, preferably gray salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Creme fraiche, basil oil, finely sliced fresh chives, or prosciutto bits, optional
Ascorbic acid helps keep the green color in pureed herbs and vegetables. If you have vitamin C tablets on hand, just crush one with a rolling pin and add it to the mixture in the blender. Note that you'll need a blender to puree the soup. A food processor doesn't make it smooth enough.
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