A generous drizzle of fresh-pressed extra virgin olive oil before serving gives this soup richness (we love its jewel-like color).
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 2 medium leeks, trimmed, white and green parts halved lengthwise, then thinly sliced and rinsed (about 4 packed cups)
- 2 celery stalks, trimmed and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup white vermouth or white wine
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 5 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 3 1/2 cups fresh shelled peas
- 5 ounces fresh baby spinach (about 5 packed cups)
- 1/2 packed cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems, plus more for serving
- 1 cup raw small shaped pasta, such as ditali or shells (optional), cooked al dente according to package directions
- Crème fraîche, for serving
- Chopped chives and torn fresh dill, for serving
- 1 lemon, for zesting
In a large pot, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the leeks and celery, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the vermouth and garlic, and cook until the liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat.
Once the liquid comes to a boil, add the peas and cook, stirring occasionally, just until tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, then stir in the spinach until wilted. (This will happen quickly.) Stir in the parsley.
Working in batches, transfer the soup to a high-powered blender and purée until creamy. (A food processor or immersion blender would work as well, though they may take a little longer.) Return the soup to the pot and season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the soup among warmed bowls. Add the pasta, if using, then top with a dollop of crème fraîche. Drizzle recklessly with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with a pile of herbs, grate fresh lemon zest on top, and serve immediately.
Serves: 4 to 6 — Recipe from cooking.nytimes.com