Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Recipe: Spring Pea Soup

photo:  Waterbury Farms
Mother Nature is a fickle wench in the spring, particularly in Pittsburgh, but just because it is as likely to snow or sleet as be gardening weather, that doesn't mean that I'm not craving spring foods. Given the cold, damp weather I was wanting soup, but not some heavy winter stew kind of soup. Something showcasing spring veggies that would also warm me up.

The perfect solution? Fresh pea soup. Although, since it's so hard to come across fresh peas, I often use frozen and this soup still satisfies that springtime craving. This recipe is a riff on the Barefoot Contessa's. I love Ina Garten, but she never met a fat source she didn't like, so I've made it a bit healthier, without losing any of the delicious factor. This is a great soup -- delicious and rich and also fast and easy.

You will need:
6 cups of freshly shelled peas or about 25 ounces of frozen peas
1 quart of chicken stock
2 leeks or 1 jumbo one (finely diced)
1 shallot (finely diced)
1 large yellow onion (finely diced)
1/4 cup half-n-half
2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese

The prep:

Heat some olive oil in a large soup pot and add the leeks, onion, shallots and a big pinch of kosher salt. Sautee until the onions, et al until they are soft. Really cook the heck out of them, because you won't be cooking the peas for that long. When they are good and soft/carmelized, add the chicken stock. Bring it to a boil and add the peas. (If you're using fresh, you'll need to cook them about 5-7 minutes; frozen will only take about 3-4 minutes.)

Once the peas are cooked, puree the soup in a blender. You will have to do this in batches. Puree this until it's smooth. And I mean, really, really smooth. Chunky pea soup just ruins the flavor somehow, so puree and puree and puree.

Return the pureed soup to the soup pot, and cook on low heat. Add the half-n-half and the parmesan cheese. Add a couple of grinds of fresh black pepper and taste for salt.


  1. fickle wench, never met a fat source she didn't like! those were my two favs.

  2. Is that why Ina's food tastes so good? Damn...