Saturday, February 7, 2015

Spring Pea and Mint Chilled Soup for a Valentines Day Cookbook Affair Giveaway

Spring Pea and Mint Chilled Soup

Maybe a week before Christmas I get this message from Alice of A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen gauging interest in a group cookbook giveaway. You might remember her because I had the opportunity to meet her in person a few months ago when she attended the International Food Bloggers Conference. Each of the participants was to prepare a dish from a cookbook they enjoy and giveaway a copy of that book. I accepted, in part because I thought it would be fun and, in part because I wanted to use the occasion to highlight a book you may not have known about previously.

Cookbook Affair Giveaway

As the picture above suggests, I'm not the only one doing this. In fact, there are several other connected books being given away by some terrific ladies too. So far the list of giveaways is numerous:

Peter Reinhart's Artisan Breads Every Day by Peter Reinhart being given away by Alice of A Mama, Baby & Shar-pei in the Kitchen
My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories by David Lebovitz and Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan being given away by Christy of Confessions of a Culinary Diva
The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America's Most Imaginative Chefs by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg being given away by Christina of Mama's High Strung
The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History by Ana Sofia Pelaez being given away by Adriana of Great Food 360°
Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World: 75 Dairy-Free Recipes for Cupcakes that Rule by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero being given away by Kim of Liv Life
Cooking with Frank's® RedHot® Cayenne Pepper Sauce: Delicious Recipes That Bring the Heat by Rachel Rappaport being given away by Heather of girlichef.

In addition, I have the pleasure of introducing Kathy of BakeawayWithMe who will have another cookbook up for grabs tomorrow. Be sure to check out her facebook page and enter all of their giveaways.

I chose An Appealing Plan: A Year Of Everyday Celebrations by Krayl Funch which was just published this last autumn. I met Krayl at the Food and Wine Conference last July, so I was pleased to see her hard work pay off.

As I've stated in the past, I generally like cookbooks that are more than just a collection of recipes and Krayl's book follows this pattern. I like that it's organized by seasons and reviews annual occasions when guests are common such as Cinco de Mayo, Thanksgiving and summer birthdays. Since these holidays are well covered by other resources, she has recommendations for more common events such as grilled food for game day, summer solstice and spontaneous get togethers among close friends. Woven throughout her book are instructions for table settings for several events and it's all highlighted by some of the most beautiful food photography I've ever seen.

Krayl does Valentine's Day and I was originally going to replicate one of her dishes for the occasion but Mrs. Stuntman thought the soup was more appealing and, after all, she is my Valentine, so...

The Challenge

Present a dish from Krayl's book in a favorable fashion.

The Source

Adapted from page 16


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large onion, chopped
Kosher salt
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
6 cups fresh peas
3 cups flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1 cup mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup crème fraiche, for garnish
1/4 cup diced ham, for garnish
Saltine crackers, for garnish


1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and season with salt to sweat, approximately 5 minutes. Deglaze with the stock and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the peas and return to a boil, then remove from heat and add the parsley and mint. Purée using an immersion blender, or a regular blender in batches, if necessary. Transfer the soup to a clean bowl, add the lemon juice and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Chill the soup for 1 hour, or it can be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated overnight. When ready to serve, spoon the soup into bowls and garnish with crème fraiche, ham and crackers.


I made a few ingredient substitutions with this dish. Krayl calls for vegetable broth but I used chicken stock instead. She also garnishes the soup with pea shoots it's a little early for those to be in season, so I used diced ham and oyster shaped saltine crackers. It was still a well balanced dish and Mrs. Stuntman was happy with it. Unfortunately with the resources available to me, the picture above isn't even in the same league (much less the same ball park) as the stunning photograph of the dish published in the book and I encourage you pick up a copy yourself (at the very least to view what I'm referring to) if you aren't chosen the winner. You can do so by clicking here.

Finally, the giveaway details are as follows:

Official Rules: Giveaway is open to U.S. residents, Canadian residents and any APO/FPO addresses. Entrants must be 18 years old or older. To enter, use the widget below. One winner with a valid entry will be selected on March 6th, 2015. I will email the winner and they will have up to 24 hours to respond and claim their prize or another winner will be selected. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.


  1. I'd love to learn more about table settings (mine are hopeless)!

  2. It is so nice to meet you via the cookbook giveaways! I am looking forward to getting to know you through your blog! Great post!

  3. This is pretty neat and I love that Krayl interacts with your social media! ;)

  4. I love this cookbook and the possibilities that it offers! :)

  5. "Krayl does Valentine's Day and I was originally going to replicate one of her dishes for the occasion but Mrs. Stuntman thought the soup was more appealing and, after all, she is my Valentine, so..." <--- aaaaaaaawwwwww! So sweet! And I'm glad to hear that Mrs. Stuntman was happy with it! Darn it, I didn't meet Krayl at F&W but she's a total sweetheart on her blog and social media. Fingers crossed i win this book! I'll even come over and pick it up ;)

  6. I am glad you made the chicken stock sub because that's exactly what I would have done too! I'm a huge lover of soup and I am going to try this one next month when spring peas come out here! Shared on FB, tweeted, and Pinned!

  7. The soup looks delicious but I am wondering how it tastes warm. Bet it's lovely either way!


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