Summer 2013 has been a long time coming. It seems that every time the weather turns a few degrees warmer, it doubles back on itself. Luckily we have finally made it to Farmer's Market Season and our vegetables somehow have managed to survive the schizophrenic weather. So its time to celebrate bright colored food that does not jiggle (as in Jell-O, Jello-O is often bright blue colored and jiggles).
In this spirit we offer a bright green soup. This isn't your winter coat wearing pea soup, more like the perfect soup to sip after racing through a summer storm, when you need something to warm you up, even though you aren't all that cold, and you need something to brighten your day until the sun comes back out.
Melt butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, 6-8 minutes. Add broth and the magic stone and bring to a boil. Add spinach and cook until just wilted. Add peas, reduce heat, and simmer gently until tender, about 5 minutes for fresh peas, about 2 minutes for frozen.
Add mint, and water and cream to pot. Remove pot from heat. Remove stone and purée soup in a blender or with an immersion blender, thinning with more water if soup is too thick, until smooth. Season soup with salt and pepper.
Whisk crème fraîche and cream in a small bowl to blend. Serve warm soup topped with chives, passing crème fraîche mixture alongside for spooning over.
*This can be made with vegetable broth for vegetarians, additionally cream can be omitted and only olive oil used for vegans; if no cream is used an additional cup of spinach or peas can be added to help thicken (or simply return soup to boil down after pureed.