Fresh Pea Soup with Paradise Croutons


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2  leeks, chopped (white and light green parts only)
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
6 cups shelled English Peas (equivalent to about 6 pounds of peas in shell)
½ cup chopped fresh herbs (like parsley, mint, thyme and chives)
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2  teaspoons sea salt

For croutons:
Olive oil
1 Paradise cheese, cold from the refrigerator
½ baguette, sliced on a diagonal into ½-inch pieces


For the Soup:
1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan. Add the leeks and sauté until softened, but not browned (about 5 minutes).

2. Turn the burner on high and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, add the peas, and reduce heat to medium. Cook the peas until just tender, about 5 minutes.

3. Remove the soup from the heat and add the herbs, pepper and salt.

4. Puree the soup in small portions in a blender or in the pot with an immersion blender. Keep warm until serving.

For the Croutons:
Preheat the oven to 425°.
1. Drizzle olive oil on both sides of the baguette slices. Using an open blade cheese knife or serrated knife, carefully slice the Paradise on the bias into ¼ inch rounds. Place one round on each baguette slice. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 10 minutes or enough to toast the bottom of the bread and melt the Paradise nicely. The croutons can be placed under the broiler for a little more color if you prefer.

To assemble:
Immediately before serving, ladle the soup into bowls and top with one or two croutons. Drizzle a touch of olive oil over the soup and arrange some chive stems and flowers for garnish if you wish. 

Serving Size:
Serves 4.
Mountain Lodge Farm