English pea and prosciutto soup

This recipe uses peas, the pods they came in, and the shoots from where they got their start. For more of a meal, top soup with a poached egg before garnishing it with the crispy prosciutto.

1 1/2 pounds English peas in their pods
Kosher salt, to taste
15 sprigs fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 slices prosciutto, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup roughly chopped shallots
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/2 cup pea shoots, torn into bite sized pieces

  1. Shell peas, separating peas and shells. Remove strings and stems from half of shells and set aside.
  2. Fill a large pot with 4 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil. Prepare an ice water bath and set aside. When water comes to a boil, add half of empty pods without strings and stems. Blanch for 60 seconds. Remove pods from water with a slotted spoon and transfer to ice water.
  3. Transfer blanched pods to a blender and puree with 1/2 cup blanching water and parsley. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, compost solids, and set purée aside.
  4. Add remaining empty pods as well as all strings and stems to pot of blanching water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30 minutes. Cool slightly, and strainbroth into a large measuring cup. Set aside. Compost solids.
  5. Return empty pot to stove and melt butter over medium heat. Add prosciutto, stir, and cook until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a paper bag to drain.
  6. Add shallots to pot and cook, stirring, over medium heat until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add thyme and pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Pour in pea pod stock and bring to a simmer. Add reserved peas and cook until peas are just tender.
  7. Transfer mixture to a blender and carefully purée until smooth. Return to pot and add pea pod and parsley purée. Place over low heat to warm through. Taste and season with salt. Pour into warm bowls, garnish with crispy prosciutto and pea shoots, and serve hot.

Serves 6.

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