There is an adorable picture that has been around for years that has a bunch of peas sitting on top of the world with the caption “Peas on Earth”. In the interest of copyright I haven’t included it, but do a google search, you’ll find it. If you haven’t seen it let me tell you, it’s pretty cute. Cute enough that my sister bought herself a t-shirt with it emblazoned on it (I haven’t included a picture of her either not because she’s copyrighted but because I figured she might hunt me down). Given that Sunday April 22nd is Earth Day I therefore thought it was only fitting to write about peas. In this case pea soup.
I’ve never been a huge fan of peas. Cooked peas especially. As a kid I spit them out. As a teenager I figured out I could swallow them whole as long as I had a glass of water. As an adult I’m still not a huge fan, but they certainly have their time and place. Spring is one of those times. A perfect spring pea just out of the pod in the garden is other worldly.
This year I decided it was time to learn to make pea soup. I went to the best sources I know, a relative and The New Basics Cookbook. (As a sidenote, if you don’t have this cookbook I strongly suggest it. I was given my copy in 1995 by my, now, mother-in-law and while it is falling apart it is an absolute no fail “go-to” kind of book.) Finding a couple of recipes there, I compared them with various others and started creating. The reality is, if the peas are fresh there isn’t much need for embellishment or spicing.
This is what I came up with.
- 8 cups fresh peas (or 2 bags frozen organic)
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 1Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp. dried tarragon, or 2Tbsp fresh
- 1Tbsp. butter
- 1 cup milk (or cream if you’re being decadent)
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- splash of dry white wine
- creme fraiche, greek yogurt or sour cream for garnish
- fresh pea shoots for garnish
Melt the coconut oil in a large stock pot and add the chopped onions. Cook gently until soft but not crispy.
Add the peas, tarragon and stock. Cook at a medium temperature until soft. About 30 minutes.
When peas are soft, let cool a bit and then pour soup into blender. Puree.
Pour blended soup through a sieve (see picture above). Set aside the pea husks for another use and return the strained liquid to the soup pot.
If using, add the butter, cream/milk and wine at this time. Salt and pepper to taste.
When serving place a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche and some fresh pea shoots on top.
Enjoy, and peas on earth.