Califonia Bountiful
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Spring pea soup with North Coast Dungeness crab

Spring pea soup with North Coast Dungeness crab


1 lb. sugar snap peas
1 shallot, roughly chopped
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1/4 cup chardonnay  
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Mineral water, as needed
1 large Dungeness crab, cooked and cleaned (or 1 1/2 cups fresh crabmeat)
1 tbsp. hazelnut oil
1 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
1 tsp. chopped fresh lemon thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
Garden blossoms and herbs, for garnish
1 tbsp. pistachio oil, for garnish 

Chef Knoll serves this chilled soup in the spring when sugar snap peas are at their peak and local Dungeness crab is abundant. If you don't have Dungeness crab, try Pacific rock cod, lobster or fresh oysters.


Cook peas uncovered in rapidly boiling, salted water for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Chill peas quickly in an ice bath, drain and reserve. Sauté shallot in olive oil and butter until soft. Add wine to pan and simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Add cream and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool. Place reserved peas and shallot-cream mixture in a food processor and purée. Add mineral water until puree is just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Chill about 45 minutes.

Toss crab with hazelnut oil, tarragon and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Mound crab in the center of 6 shallow bowls. Ladle soup around crab. Garnish with your favorite edible blossoms and herbs (such as rose petals, lemon thyme blossoms, tarragon or chervil) and a drizzle of pistachio oil.

Serves 6