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Chilled Pea Soup with Crab Salsa and Crostini

Serves 4
Takes 90 minutes including chilling the soup 

This is ideally for summer, when you can get peas in their pods. Alternatively you could use vegetable nage or chicken stock. Timings are given for very fresh peas, older ones will take longer.

The sweet summery flavour of the silky smooth soup goes incredibly well with the sweet/salt crab while the limey, olive oily crostini is the perfect accompaniment

The soup:-
2 ½ tbsp olive oil
4 sticks of celery, finely chopped
3 large banana shallots, finely chopped
1 kg peas in pods
10g flat leaf parsley – separate leaves from stalk and chop both
extra water or milk

The crab salsa:- 
6 spring onions, thinly sliced diagonally
200g white crab meat
pinch of cayenne + more to garnish
juice of ½ lime

The crostini:- 
4 very fine slices of sourdough bread
extra virgin olive oil

  • Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan. Add the celery and shallots and sweat for 5 minutes until just soft, but not coloured. Set the saucepan aside 
  • Shell the peas and wash the pods. Put the pods and parsley stalks in another large pan with 1 litre water. Bring to a boil, cover, and bubble rapidly for 8 minutes. Put a colander over the pan with the celery/shallot mixture and strain the pod water into this pan. Discard the pods 
  • Bubble the pod water and shallot mixture for 10 minutes. Add the peas and parley leaves,  bring back to a boil and bubble for a further minute, then plunge the pan into a sink of cold water to rapidly cool the soup; this will help preserve that lovely vibrant green colour. When cool, blitz the soup in a liquidiser, and then sieve to ensure it is ultra smooth – you may need to add a little milk or water to loosen up the consistency. Season if necassary
  • Meanwhile, for the crab salsa, heat ½ tablespoon of olive oil and wilt most of the spring onions for a minute. Tip into a bowl and leave to cool. Fold the crab meat into the wilted spring onions, season with salt, the cayenne and a squeeze of lime juice 
  • For the crostini, rub the bread with lime juice and toast both sides. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Ladle the soup into serving bowls and top with the crab mixture. Sprinkle over a little more cayenne and the remainder of the spring onions. Serve with the crostini