I'm competing in my first cooking competition... ever, on Sunday in Williamsburg. It's a cold soup contest called "Some Like It Cold" (www.freewilliamsburg.com/
I entered the competition the other day and knew right away what I was going to make: my chilled pea and garden mint soup. I've been making it for a while now. Cold & delicious -- should be a winner.
The only problem with making a shelled pea soup in August is that shelling peas are at the end of their season here in New York. You can still get great tasty little orbs, this just makes picking the best ones really important. So I headed over the the Green Market at Union Square early this morning. A few weeks ago you could find shelling peas at a bunch of stands, but today only Migliorelli Farms had them. Fortunately Migliorelli always has really great produce. So I came upon their 5 bushels of peas and started picking... looking for pods with smooth, soft, bright green skins. The skins on pods that are a little past their prime get drier and a little wrinkly. Most importantly though, the peas on the inside of older pods loose the sweetness that makes them such a special seasonal treat.
12 POUNDS and $50 of hand-picked peas later, I headed back home to Williamsburg on the L train. Now I'm working on the fun part -- shelling all these guys. I'm lucky I guess in that I really like to shell peas. It's kind of peaceful (or peas-ful, haha). Still, I'm about 4 pounds in and I'm wondering how relaxed I'm going to feel after a few more hours of this. I'll keep you posted...