English Pea and Spring Fava Bean Soup

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 medium leek, chopped 1 medium onion, chopped 1 medium fennel bulb, chopped 3 celery ribs, chopped1 1/2 quarts water3¨ cups English peas, shucked 2 cups fava beans, shucked 4 slices smoked bacon, for garnishFor the stock: Lightly sautéing the leek, onion, fennel and celery in the extra virgin olive oil in a medium deep pot. Continuously stir the vegetables over medium heat until they are soft. Do not brown the vege-tables.When the vegetables are soft, add the water and bring to a slow simmer over low to medium heat; simmer for 20 minutes.For the soup: While the stock is simmering, blanch the peas in lightly salted water and cool in a mix of ice and water. Blanch the fava beans in the same salted water until the skins just begin to crinkle. Cool in the water bath and peel.Thinly slice the bacon strips and sauté to desired doneness. Set aside.Strain the vegetable stock through a fine mesh sieve.Puree the peas and fava beans with the vegetable stock. Adjust consistency with a touch of water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper.Pour into de-sired bowls and garnish with the bacon.Serves four as an first-course.Cook?s note: This soup may be served chilled with a cream or mint garnish.Chef Mark Payne, Ritz-Carlton, Chicago

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