In a nice heavy-bottomed soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook the minced shallots in the butter until nearly transparent. Add the peas, carrot juice, wine and the broth - simmer until the peas are tender. Stir in all the herbs, salt, pepper, bay leaves and the remaining butter. Simmer for about 5 minutes to incorporate the flavors. Remove bay leaves before blending.
Set up your blender, and a bowl or basin with a strainer. Get a kitchen towel to put over the blender! Don’t try and be clever with this. You really, really do want to put that kitchen towel over the top of the blender, before hitting the ‘On’ switch. Hold the top on really, really tight. Then go ‘Low’, then to ‘High’. Never, NEVER, fill your blender more than 1/4 full of hot soup! Unless, of course, you want to clean it off the ceiling and walls.
Process, in batches, to very silky smoothness. Now, you can quit here and serve. But if you’re trying to impress the guests, go the rest of the way with the strainer. Some thickish solids will remain in the strainer after each batch. That will go back into the blender with any remaining broth for a final blend at high speed. I’m going for every last drop of flavor!
Take your strained soup, and add it back into the pot to barely simmer for about 30 minutes. Don’t let it boil. And now, is the time to adjust your seasonings.
This soup can make a meal, especially when paired up with a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. For purposes of plating for a nice presentation, I put crumbled goat cheese in the bottom of each bowl - ladle in the hot soup, and then top with the snipped chives. You could also top it with buttered croutons, sour cream, and pickled radish.
This recipe is designed for English shelling peas. If you're shelling your own peas, you'll need to start with about 15 cups of pods to get three cups shelled. If you’ve miscalculated and don’t have enough fresh peas, simply make up the difference with frozen peas. In fact, this can be made with frozen peas, too. If you want a bit thicker soup, add a potato to it. Simply cut up a peeled russet potato into small dice, boil until very tender, and add to the peas in the blender.