Green Pea Soup Recipe

A simple Indian-spiced green pea soup. You make a garlic ginger paste, then use it as the base of the soup along with some onion. Some green chile contributes some kick, along with other spices.

Green Pea Soup

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.

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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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that looks like a good recipe but one problem...I don't eat any soup that green. HAVE FUN MOVING!:)


Congratulations...moving is really difficult and I am happy it will be to a place that has more space i.e. I am jealous??? LOL This recipe looks wonderful. I will have to save it for cold weather but I know my daughter will love it. Many thanks.


Heidi, I grabbed your new book at the Compass bookstore at the SF airport on my way to a vacation on Cape Cod. It is a real inspiration of a book on many levels and we have already made the Little Quinoa Patties three times (turns out they're a perfect accompaniment to the fresh flounder and cod we get down the road!). Good luck with the move. Cate HS: Really glad you're liking them Cate!

Cate Conniff

This may sound ridiculous, but what a cute soup! And not a little appropriate for Portland's perpetually fall like weather. I too hate moving. Just hate it. Truly does not matter if you have a little or a lot. Our house gets western sun which gives me amazing soft morning light to shoot with. Can't wait to see what you come up with in your new space. Good luck with the move!

Dina Avila

Heidi, I want to say how much a enjoy reading your blog entries, and how influential your cooking ideas are in my own cooking repertoire! Your emails have saved me from the "what do I make for dinner" syndrome on more than one occasion! The pea soup looks like it will be a real winner! Keep bringing us magic! p.s. I love the new font on the blog...what is it?! HS: I'm using Typekit - you can choose from a library of fonts by using it. Totally blanking on the font names right now though.


So excited you are moving. Did you stay in the same hood?
Hi Katherine -yes! :) You'll have to come stay. Miss you!

Katherine McCartney

I love those pink and yellow flowers on the dish adding spring-ish color to the pea soup. Congrats on your move! Looking forward to seeing more beautiful photos from your new place!

Kitchen M

Regarding your grandmother's beautiful silver spoons, I saw an amazing idea recently - an artist who took engraved silver flatware like yours and fused it into a bracelet that shows off the engraved letter. I have boxes of my grandmother's wedding silver and china and keep intending to get them made into bracelets for all of her daughters and granddaughters.


What a lovely soup! I make one quite similar whenever cleaning freezer, but also always in May, with frozen peas fresh mint and curry. I am the sad but proud holder of 4 copies/editions of Joy of Cooking: My grandmother's, mother's, my own, and my daughter's, who passed at age 28. It is so precious to have each of these well thumbed, food spattered compendiums of dishes well-savored and shared with others in our gene-pool. It is also fascinating to track the changes in food considerations through the generations. When I was a hippy living in the woods, the recipes for small game from Gramma's book came in right handy!


This looks absolutely delightful! Cleaning out my freezer is on this week's To Do list, so I will be joining you in pea soup land. I usually pair peas with mint, but I can't wait to try your version with the added ginger and garlic. Thanks for the idea, and good luck with the move!

Louise @ Kitchen Fiddler

That looks like the best pea soup ever :) (I'm loving your photos again)

Sara (The Veggie-Eco Life)

Thank you for a recipe that looks like it will only take 17 minutes to make!! I have peas in the freezer myself so I think this will be my dinner tonight... and again once the pea plants release their bounty.


All the best with the move, sounds like a lovely place. Can't wait to see photos from your new location. This soup looks stunning, I will be extra sure to try it when peas are in season.

Melissa (The Bounty Hunter)

Ginger and peas. I'm intrigued. Thanks for the inspiration. And...lovely photographs.

Denise | Chez Danisse

Love this soup! I made green pea soup for a dinner party a few weeks ago. I made it with frozen peas since fresh were not available at that time. The soup is good for a first course, not to filling (unless you're like me and have a second helping). If you can get garden fresh peas, I would recommend it. It takes this soup to a whole other level. Oh, the rest of the dinner was BBQ cedar planked salmon, saute asparagus, pearl barley and wild rice risotto and for dessert a lemon sabayon tart.


Heidi the soup looks lovely and I love the photos of the silverware and the cookie cutters and little objects you've been finding as you're packing. I have moved 10 times in 10 years. Some across the country, some across state lines and some just within the city of San Diego. I hope to god I am staying put for "awhile"...which anything longer than a year (currently place 13 mos) is doing good for me! haha! I hate packing. hang in there! And enjoy setting up your NEW kitchen..the BEST part of moving for me!

Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga)

I have never made pea soup. We sure have moved often enough though! That will be soup I'll have to try now that I have my teens open to trying all sorts of new foods in the past few years. Good luck with your move. It will all get done even though it may not seem like it at the moment.

snippets of thyme

Hi Heidi, This soup looks perfect for today. And, I need to clean out my freezer. No doubt I'll find a bag of peas. Did you ever get the game box made with your lemon photo? I sent it to you for your birthday at the same time as the celebration of the book release. Good luck with your move!

Diane Clark Johnson

i love it when you make indian food ! the green color of the soup is so inviting ....


Heidi, I love the idea of using queso fresco as a substitute for paneer. I've never been able to find paneer, but I can get queso fresco right down the street. Thanks for the great suggestion!


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