July 17th, 2009


Chilled Pea Soup With Parmesan Cream and Soft-Boiled Gulls’s Egg

The season for peas is short and preserving the flavour and colour is very important when creating a dish like this. My top tip is to work as fast as possible to capture the freshness of the peas.

When fresh garden peas appear on market stalls and my home-grown peas are ready to be harvested, it’s a wonderful reminder that the British summer is in full swing.

According to a recent TV programme on growing pea crops in Britain, farmers collaborate to harvest the peas as soon as they are ripe and their processing takes just a few hours from harvesting to blanching and freezing the peas. Months of planning and hard work by farmers and food producers bring this humble, yet incredible, vegetable in frozen form to our dining tables. This is all down to a particular enzyme in peas that affects them once they are harvested. Freshly picked peas taste sweeter and better than those that are just a few days old. For this reason frozen peas are as close as one can get to the real thing unless you have your own kitchen garden. As a matter of fact, peas are very easy to grow as they do not need a very big space and are not prone to disease.


I thoroughly enjoy a good chilled soup, packed with freshness and flavour. It sometimes makes me smile when I read a menu and I see gazpacho. The reason being is that I don’t  know if  the chef gave enough thought to his menu or whether he was simply scared to try something new.

For the chilled pea soup

  • 300g fresh garden peas, podded
  • 1 large banana shallot
  • 50ml vermouth
  • 30g butter
  • 300ml vegetable or white chicken stock
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 sprig of flowering thyme
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Coarse sea salt

Wash the podded peas and drain in a colander and bring the stock to the boil.

Peel and slice the banana shallot finely. Heat a large saucepan with the butter and sweat the shallot until tender with no colour, add the peas, thyme and seasoning, cook for a couple of minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the vermouth; add the boiling stock and cream and bring the stock back to the boil. Cook for a few minutes, test if the peas are tender.

Once the peas are cooked, purée the soup in a blender as quickly as possible and pass through a fine sieve over ice to chill the soup rapidly.

Work fast to keep the bright green colour.

For the Parmesan espuma

  • 50g flour
  • 50g butter
  • 400ml full fat milk
  • 20g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 60ml double cream
  • 150ml vegetable stock or nage
  • Coarse sea salt

In a medium saucepan melt the butter, add the flour to make a roux, add seasoning.

In a separate saucepan bring the milk and stock to the boil; add ladles of boiling milk-stock one at a time to the cooked roux. Stir well after each addition to secure a smooth sauce. Add the rest of the milk and cook the sauce for six minutes over a moderate heat.

Add the grated Parmesan cheese to the double cream and blend.

Pass the Parmesan cream through a fine sieve and pour into a cream whipper, charge with two pellets, shake vigorously and let the espuma chill over ice.


To cook the Parmesan espuma in the Thermomix, first grind the Parmesan, drop the chunks of cheese on to running blades at speed 10 for 20 seconds, pour the ground cheese into a small bowl. Place the butter, stock, flour, milk and seasoning in to the Thermomix bowl. Set the timer for six minutes at 90°C speed 4. Once done, add the cream and cheese turn the speed dial to 10 for 10 seconds.

Pass the Parmesan cream through a fine sieve and pour into a cream whipper, charge with two pellets, shake vigorously and let the espuma chill over ice.

While the soup and Parmesan espuma chill, boil two gulls' eggs for four minutes.

Peel the soft-boiled gulls' eggs, cut them in half and season with freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt.

To serve

  • 4tbs blanched fresh garden peas
  • 2 soft-boiled gulls' eggs, cut in half and seasoned
  • Pea tops
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Selection of edible flowers such as thyme, nasturtium and mizuna flowers

Lightly crush the blanched peas with a fork, season with freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt and add a drop or two of the olive oil. Divide the peas between the four soup bowls, carefully place the halved soft-boiled gulls' egg on top of the pile of crushed peas slightly off centre.

Pour the soup around the egg, shake the Parmesan espuma vigorously and squirt it next to the gulls' egg. Garnish with the flowers, pea tops, finely grated Parmesan cheese and a few drops of olive oil.

Serves 4

Print Recipe Print Recipe with Photo

2 Comments to “Chilled Pea Soup With Parmesan Cream and Soft-Boiled Gulls’s Egg”

  1. Barry Dean says:

    Where did you get your gull eggs from? I’m hoping to try them this year, before the supply dries up for good! :-)

  2. Madalene says:

    HI Barry,
    I got the gulls eggs from a friend who owns a restaurant in London. I unfortunately do not know where he got them from. I do however know that they are scares and that one should have a special license to collect them. I’m sorry as this does perhaps not help you. Perhaps if you speak to a good butcher or fishmonger they might help you.
    Hope you find them,

    All the best,

Leave a Comment