High summer. Early mornings, followed by a retreat into the shade by ten o'clock, and then a siesta during the blisteringly hot hours of the afternoon. Dinner each evening is taken late, when the heat has diminished somewhat, and we sit in the candle-lit barn, with the backdrop of the fountain splashing gently into the lily-pond, and the very last few fireflies of the year flit gently among the undergrowth.
This is a perfect starter for this time of year. Minimal cooking required, and the result is elegant, delicious, light and refreshing. If you didn't know what the main ingredient was, then I suspect you wouldn't guess...just an elusively delicious flavour, just out of reach.
For two generous servings:
Ingredients: 500g frozen peas (petit pois are probably best); 3 cups of good light broth (I used stock from a couple of guinea fowl which had been spit-roast earlier in the week); Salt; a quarter cup or so of Cream; chopped Chives, to garnish.
1. Cook the peas in the stock for about five minutes or so, until done. Add salt to taste. Allow to cool in their cooking liquid.
2. Liquidize the whole lot, once cool, and then work through a sieve, pushing through with the back of a wooden spoon (tedious, I know, but it makes all the difference). Discard the fibrous stuff you're left with in the sieve at the end.
3. Stir in the Cream, and chill for an hour or so until ready to serve.
4. Adjust seasoning if necessary, then serve in chilled bowls, with chopped Chives sprinkled over the top.