Pea pods simmered in chicken broth and then pureed create a velvety soup with a lively fresh-pea flavor.
1. Heat the oil and butter in a wide saucepan until the butter is melted. Add the pea pods and cook, stirring, over high heat for 30 seconds or until the pea pods are glossy and bright green. Stir in the onions. Cover the pan and reduce the heat. Cook slowly for 10 minutes.
2. Pour in the chicken broth and add the chives. Cook, uncovered, and at a gentle bubble for 30 minutes or until the pea pods are very tender. Transfer to the container of a blender or processor and whirl until smooth. Pour through a sieve back into the saucepan.
3. Blend in the lemon juice, then stir in the cream. Season with salt and pepper and heat gently, but do not allow the soup to boil. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with dollops of sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped fresh chives.