Sunday, March 15, 2009
After 4 days of beautiful spring weather we now have had 3 days of cold wet rain. Time for some fresh spring peas to be turned into a warm comfort soup.
Pease porridge hot,
Pease porridge cold,
Pease porridge in the pot
Nine days old.
Just a rhyme to us, but if you were a young peasant child growing up in sixteenth century England, your meals were often peas porridge served hot, cold and anything in between. Peas were one of the earliest cultivated cool-weather crops. Believed to have origins in Asia, the crop moved through Europe and became popular with royalty in France. Thomas Jefferson, an avid farmer, loved peas so much that on one of his trips to France he brought his slave-chef with him to be trained on how to grow and cook peas.
Peas are a legume containing protein, fiber, and are low in fat. They taste great raw, and can be steamed, boiled, added to a stir-fry or salad, and make a great soup.
Fresh Pea Soup
by Penny Rich
Serve Hot in the cool months, Chilled in the warm months.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (olive oil for a vegan soup)
1 medium onion diced
3 cups vegetable stock
6 cups peas, fresh or frozen
1 ½ cups milk (unsweetened soy milk for a vegan soup)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chopped fresh basil and parsley 3-4 tablespoons
Chopped fresh mint, use for soup served cold
Melt butter in a soup pot. Add onions and cook for 5-7 minutes until soft. Add stock and bring to a boil. Add the peas, lower the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat. With an emersion blender, puree the soup until smooth adding the milk, salt and pepper, as you blend. If you are serving the soup hot, return to the simmer, adjust salt and pepper and add herbs. If you are serving the soup cold, allow the soup to cool before refrigerating. Top with fresh herbs before serving.
Small diced onions will cook faster.
While onions are cooking measure out the rest of the ingredients. Today I made a vegan soup so I cooked the onions in olive oil and used soy milk. I am also serving this hot so I went with the basil and parsley. If you plan on chilling it and serving cold, use chopped mint.
After the peas cook for 15 minutes, it is time to blend.
An emersion blender works best. Add milk as you blend.
Stir in herbs and serve hot with some crusty bread or garlic croutons.