Southern Lady Magazine

Sweet Pea Soup with Herbed Scallops


This Sweet Pea Soup with Herbed Scallops from from Ayesha Curry’s, The Seasoned Life cookbook is a light and refreshing dish. 

Sweet Pea Soup with Herbed Scallops
Author: Recipe Copyright © 2016 by Ayesha Curry from The Seasoned Life cookbook
Makes 4 servings
Ingredients
  • Soup:
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) bag frozen peas
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 packed cups baby spinach leaves (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon, for garnish
  • Scallops:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced green onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 dozen large dry-packed scallops, side muscles removed
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
Instructions
  1. To make the soup: Heat the oil in a medium or Dutch oven saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the shallot and garlic until the shallot has softened and the garlic has started to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Pour in the peas, and cook, stirring occasionally, to let the peas thaw out, about 5 minutes. Add a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Pour in the heavy cream, and cook just until the cream starts to simmer—do not let it boil.
  2. Put the spinach in the jar of a blender, and pour the soup over it. Blend until smooth, and season with more salt and pepper to taste. Pour the soup back into the pot, and keep warm over medium-low heat. Have four warm soup bowls ready.
  3. To make the scallops: In a small bowl, mash together the butter, garlic, green onion, and parsley with a spoon.
  4. Pat the scallops dry with a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the scallops on one side until deep golden brown, about 2 minutes (for the best sear, avoid the temptation to move the scallops around). Flip the scallops, and add the garlic-herb butter to the pan, gently shaking and tilting the pan to melt the butter and coat the scallops. Sear the scallops on the second side for only 1 to 2 minutes; avoid overcooking. Remove the scallops from the pan, and keep warm.
  6. Bring the soup to a simmer briefly, just to ensure it’s hot. Ladle the soup into the warmed bowls. Place the scallops on top, and garnish the scallops with sliced green onion, a bit of lemon zest, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve immediately.
Notes
When Stephen hits a crazy-good shot, he gets this amazing feeling. That’s how I feel when I make a dish that comes together so perfectly that I can’t wait to make it again. A sweet pea soup with beautiful scallops—what more could I want? When buying scallops, look for drypacked scallops, which will caramelize in the pan better than wet-packed scallops. Even more importantly, dry-packed scallops taste a lot better than scallops that have been pumped with water (and who knows what chemical additives). Scallops are a cinch to prepare; just use a paring knife to pull off the small side muscle that attaches the scallop to its shell. Here I’ve made a simple garlic and herb butter, but you can cut out that step and buy an already prepared flavored butter (Kerrygold makes a good one).
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