Green Pea Soup

Green Pea Soup Recipe

I wish I could tell you I made today's pea soup with fresh spring peas. I didn't. It was made with peas found in the back left-hand corner of my freezer. And, even so, it was good. I'm sure it would be exponentially good with fresh market peas. Here's how it works. You make an Indian-inspired garlic ginger paste, then use it as the base of the soup along with some onion. There's also some green chiles in there to contribute some kick, along with a couple other spices. The ingredient list is based on one from this book, but I went off-road beyond that, and turned it into a one-pot soup.

Pea Soup Recipe

I held off writing about this until I was fairly confident it was a sure thing. And now that I'm sitting here amongst towers of boxes, I think it is safe to say...we're moving. Just up the street though! Nothing too dramatic. But yeah, it's a move. And let me tell you, I don't love moving. I've been happy to avoid doing it for seven? eight? years. But the prospect of a proper guest room, a bit more space to work, and extra, extra tall ceilings - all just a hop and skip from where we currently live (and love) - was too much to pass up. So, in addition to wrapping Champagne flutes one by one - and boxing up tights, toothbrushes, and tart pans - cleaning out the freezer was on my hit list. And that's where today's pea soup comes into play.

Pea Soup Recipe

There are many things coming with me in the move. And many things that aren't :). I thought I'd share some pics of a few things I've come across that have made the cut. Up top, I love this antique cookie press that I purchased a while back at Heritage in Napa. And below that are some snapshots of my family, and my grandma's copy of The Joy of Cooking.

Pea Soup Recipe

And Heather, this is a note for you - those little spoons up above were Metne's. It's hard to see, but they all have M, for Metlar, on them. I think they must have been part of her wedding silver? I wonder if mom is hiding the rest of the M's somewhere? And then below those are some H's and a small menagerie of cookie cutters.

I'm looking forward to doing some shooting in the new apartment soon - the light there is stunning - although it will be the first time I'll be shooting from a place where I suspect the morning light will trump late afternoon. Fingers crossed.

Green Pea Soup Recipe

I had my heart set on topping this soup with little cubes of pan-fried paneer cheese. That said, paneer can be hard to come by, and I didn't have time for an extra stop at another store. I ended up making the cheese "croutons" from queso fresco instead - not as authentic, but still tasty! This soup can easily be made vegan by omitting the paneer, and using sunflower oil in place of the ghee.

3 tablespoons fresh ginger, well chopped
10 sm-med cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
2 serrano chiles, stemmed and chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, plus more to serve
3 tablespoons ghee or sunflower oil
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, chopped
4 1/2 cups good-tasting vegetable stock or water
3 1/2 cups / 500 g / 18 oz shelled fresh or frozen peas
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
8 fresh mint leaves, slivered

pan-fried paneed, queso fresco, or haloumi, cut into tiny cubes - optional

Use a food processor or hand blender {in a deep bowl) to puree the ginger, garlic, chiles, cumin and three tablespoons of water into a paste. You could also use a mortar and pestle. Set aside.

Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the ghee. When hot, add the bay leaves and saute for 30 seconds. Stir in the onion and cook for a few minutes, until it begins to take on a bit of color. At this point, stir in the garlic-ginger paste, and cook for another minute. Carefully add the stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Then add the peas. Simmer just until the peas are bright, and cooked through - just a couple minutes.

Remove from heat, fish out the bay leaves, add the salt, and puree well with a hand blender. Taste, and add more salt if needed. Also, if you need to thin out the soup at all, you can add more stock at this point. Serve hot topped with a bit of lemon juice, a pinch of cumin, mint leaves, and pan-fried paneer or cheese.

Serves 4 - 6.

Prep time: 7 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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