Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fresh Green Pea Soup

One day when I happened to have an abundance of fresh peas and no idea what to do with them, I found this recipe, somewhere on line I imagine. It is good, but if you are buying fresh peas rather expensive to make and given all the shelling, quite time consuming.

1 1/2 c chopped onion
1 T unsalted butter [I used olive oil]
6 c shelled fresh or frozen peas**
5 c low-salt chicken broth
1 T chopped fresh mint leaves
Freshly ground white pepper
2/3 c well-shaken buttermilk [I did not have any so I omitted and used non-fat plain yogurt for topping]

Toasted French bread, as an accompaniment

In a saucepan cook onion in butter[/olive oil], covered, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, or until tender. Add peas and broth and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes, or until peas are tender. Stir in mint. [If using frozen peas, add frozen peas to hot chicken broth, stir just until broth returns to boil, then turn off heat and let peas cool before pureeing them.]

In a blender* puree soup until smooth and pour through a coarse sieve back into pan. [I skipped the sieve and used a food processor instead.] Heat soup over moderate heat until hot and remove pan from heat. Add white pepper [I used black] and salt, to taste, and stir in all but 4 t buttermilk [I omitted].

Divide soup between 4 [huge!]bowls and gently spoon remaining buttermilk onto each [I skipped buttermilk and garnished with a spoonful of non-fat plain yogurt and a sprig of mint.]

For best way to serve just picked peas see Fresh New England Peas.

* April 2013: Just made some Beet Soup with Cumin with an immersion blender (see Cool Tools 3). Wow! The prep time is shorter and the clean-up much easier. Going forward I will be using the immersion blender instead of the food processor for all pureed soups.

** January 2015: I've been buying small containers of fresh pea soup at the local farm stand. Reasoning that this time of year this soup is most definately made with frozen peas, I decided to try
the above recipe with frozen peas. Using the immersion blender it was so simple and I made over two quarts for a quarter of the cost of one pint! I did not use buttermilk or yogurt and topped with fresh thyme. I used mint that I had picked from my garden and frozen last fall. The freezing process makes it more condensed than fresh mint and 1 T of the frozen mint turned out to be a bit much. Next time maybe 1 - 1 1/2 t of fresh mint plus 1 t thyme leaves. Makes 6 generous servings.

NOTE: Two 24 oz bags of frozen peas yields about 8 cups of peas if you want to use 2 full bags, add an additional 1 2/3 c water or enjoy a thicker soup.

Reviewed 10/1/2017

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