A soup course may be old-school, but it never fails to delight, putting any special-occasion meal right over the top. The smooth, sophisticated pea and parsley soup is an homage to the season. It gets body from creme fraiche and a salty snap from orbs of golden caviar.
This recipe is adapted from Sarah Copeland's forthcoming book, "Feast" (Chronicle Books).When you gradually add warm broth to barley, it turns tender and creamy -- the same texture that Arborio rice gives risotto. The chard, always amenable to grains, is a revelation, becoming sweet and almost satiny after about five minutes in the pot. And although cooking radishes may sound odd, it tames their bite without masking their liveliness. Preserved lemon, with its complex aroma and acidity, stands up to the hearty flavors.
For a thicker, richer broth that's more in the style of avgolemono soup, simply whisk together two large egg yolks and the juice of one lemon. Stir the mixture into the soup just before serving. If you plan to make the salad another day, then reserve two tablespoons of the pan juices for the vinaigrette.