Finally, real summer time weather! More and more crops are being harvested now, including blueberries, summer squash, cucumbers, and peas! Sugar snap peas are the most popular pea by far, but I really like fresh shelling peas.
Earlier this summer, we went on a short trip to Chicago. One evening, I had the delight of eating a pea soup at Hot Chocolate. I was determined to recreate this soup when we were ready to harvest our shelling peas.
The most important thing about this soup is that you need to buy fresh shelling peas! Make sure that they are freshly picked to insure the highest sugar level. After you pick peas, the sugars gradually start to turn into starch. This summertime soup is sort of like “nose-to-tail” cookery for vegetables. After you shell the peas, reserve the pods to make a light green broth and then you cook the peas in their own broth! Simple, fast, and very tasty.
Minimalist Pea Soup
2 pounds fresh shelling peas, shelled, reserving pods and peas separately
2 tbsp butter
2 garlic scapes, optional, or 1 small garlic clove
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp flour
salt, to taste
Place the pea pods in a large saucepan. Cover the pods with water and add the bay leaf and a large pinch of salt. Bring this up to a boil and turn down to a simmer. Simmer the broth until the pea pods are soft, maybe 15 or 20 minutes. Strain and transfer the broth to a bowl or another pot.
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan and gentle saute the two garlic scapes or garlic clove. Add the peas and continue to cook for a couple of minutes. Cover the peas with some of the pea broth. You will most likely not need all of the broth. Simmer the peas for about 5-8 minutes and remove from heat. Blend with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. The soup should be quite thin.
In a small bowl, mash together 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of flour. Bring the soup back up to a high simmer and whisk in the butter/flour mixture. Continue to cook until the soup thickens. Taste and season. Ladle into bowls and serve with a drizzle of cream, yogurt, or formage blanc. Enjoy!
Filed under quick, summer
things are looking up around here. as we are about to pass st. patrick’s day, sf is getting brighter and sunnier (sometimes) everyday. i have never been so glad to start moving towards spring. months of root vegetables and cabbage have started to wear on me and i broke my in season, local produce rule with the purchase of mangoes from mexico after resisting almost all of winter. this pea soup was a pleasant change of pace after months of heavier soups and stews. it is creamy and silky with out any dairy and can be made very quickly with everyday items you have on hand. i keep the seasoning very light so i could taste the peas, but you could add a bit of curry or smoked paprika if you wish. or, you could take it another way with the addition of some fresh mint. i ate it warm for supper with some skillet cornbread but i think it could potentially be served chilled in a shooter glass as an hors d’oeuvres with a bit of cream and a sprinkle of chives.
soon to be spring pea soup
inspired by my overloaded freezer
2 large leeks, light green to white parts only, thinly sliced and throughly cleaned
2 celery stalks from the heart of the celery diced with the attached leaves
2 small waxy potatoes diced (i used yukon golds)
1 clove garlic coarsely chopped
about 1/3 of a bag of frozen shelled edamame
3/4 of a bag frozen peas
lemon juice, salt, pepper
in your soup pot, melt about 1/2 tablespoon of butter over medium heat and add the leeks, garlic, and celery. saute until soft and the leeks start to take on a little color. add the potatoes and cover with vegetable broth. bring this up to a strong simmer and cook until the potato is almost cooked through. add the edamame and cover and cook for about 5 minutes. add the peas and simmer for another 3-5 minutes, depending on your peas. when everything is cooked through, blend in batches. return to the pot and check the seasoning, making sure to add a bit of lemon juice for some acid. you can also strain the soup after blending to insure a super smooth texture.