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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Ooo! Just what I needed! For some reason, I always seem to have an excess of frozen peas in my freezer. I'm not a huge pea fan, or even a frozen vegetable fan, but I always seem to think I need frozen peas... Perfect recipe for me:)


Oh, moving is big! And hard. And good. And re: forzen peas? There was a quote, via Fergus Henderson, in a recent Saveur, to this effect: "Wait until peas are in season. Then buy frozen." No shame, there. And maybe, extra sweetness and light. Cheers to you, Heidi, as you transition through this next chapter. Can't wait to see the photos + food from this new locale.


What about the little birds that come to your kitchen door?? you will miss them and so am I but Im happy for you. It will be for sure a change for the better! great soup!!


Heidi, I am moving this weekend too! You are such an inspiration to me because I've been guilty of not cooking (most of my utensils are packed) and this looks like something I can make with minimal pots/ingredients all. Would you consider making a moving recipe list? Thanks!


mmm...this sounds delicious. i LOVE a good pea soup - and it's just perfect for spring. love the idea of topping it with fried cheese. perfection!


I'm moving too, in just a month! starting to think of using up all my extra freezer food. I came to my computer to see what I had written for tonight's menu, but whatever it was -it won't be anymore! here comes pea soup! I have a block of firm tofu that needs to be eaten, so I might try toasted tofu croutons, and I have leftover homemade WW pita to go with the soup too! sounds like a winner! thanks for your wonderful recipes!


The soup looks amazing- the green is so vibrant and refreshing just to look at. The flavor must be exquisite. And I must admit that I just can't stop looking at the table the soup is resting on. Definitely my style of wood! Happy moving!


haven't tried a pea soup... im quite curious how it tastes.. hmm..but i have this need to try it somewhere else before i make mine.. just couldn't figure out where i could get it here in my city (Philippines by the way)


What a beautiful soup! It might possibly be enough to convince me to buy a blender of some sort. Right now I can't puree anything. But Heidi, your pureed soups always sound and look so wonderful! By the way, I absolutely love "Super Natural Every Day." Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful talents, and for making such a beautiful book.


Pea-soup is a difficult one in my household, and that's just the adult(s)! Indian-style spicy base just may do the trick, though I think cilantro might suit it better than mint. Thanks for sharing.


Sunflower oil; love it. Great recipe, Heidi. Thanks for sharing!

The Healthy Apple

I like pea soup but I love what you've done to it - tempered all that sweetness with spice. Good luck with your move! I'm envious of your light and it must be amazing if it's better than what you've got going on right now.


Love the green soup, and your ingenuity to make a masterpiece from bits and pieces, remnants and whole foods. I will be moving again at the end of summer, and have been putting off the sorting job. Wherever I end up, I know my nesting abilities will just kick in. But, what to keep, and what to selllllllll???? The house is for sale, by the way. It's a woman's home, next to a small creek, with 300 acres of forest behind it. Built in 1920 by a master carpenter, I have been working on it for 20 years. Hard to leave, but the children are flown, my father is now gone, and my life in a new place awaits! Thanks once again Heidi!


P.S. Forgot to mention that when I was a kid and hanging out in my grandma's kitchen while she and 3-4 of her sisters worked on holiday meals, there were times when a question would come up about something they were cooking. One of them would usually say, "Let's ask Irma," and get out the book.

David in San Antonio

Looks absolutely beautiful, cannot wait to try it. Peas are in season here in France and I cannot wait to buy some at the market on Saturday and make this!

Jill (JBean Cuisine)

Perfect timing, Heidi! With packing cases everywhere and strenuous efforts being made to de-nude freezer and store cupboard before departure, this was heaven-sent - and tasted fantastic! A great alternative to Nigella's pea and pesto. Will definitely do it again - even without the packing case excuse.... very good luck with the move! HS: You too Deb!


Heidi, I make a similar soup with yellow split peas and Indian spices. Think of it as a diluted dal. Also, I haven't seen paneer in any stores here, but it's easy to make -- when you're not getting ready to move, that is. When I decide to make sag paneer on short notice, I substitute firm tofu for the paneer.

David in San Antonio

This soup looks amazing! Ever since I started making pea purees I have been obsessed with doing things with spring peas, they are just so lovely! I can't wait to make this. Thanks for the post :)


Congrats on the move, Heidi! I've found making paneer at home is easier than trying to find it in a store. It's similar to making ricotta. In a heavy pot, heat up a gallon of whole milk (pasteurized is fine, just make sure it's not ultra-pasteurized or the yield is much smaller) to 180 degrees F, stirring so it doesn't burn. When the milk hits 180, pour in 1/4-1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice. The milk will break into curds (the chunky stuff) and whey (the yellow liquid) while you keep stirring. Pour the pot into a colander lined with a double layer of cheesecloth to catch the curds. Let it cool a little. When it has cooled, tie the cheesecloth into a bundle and squeeze out the excess liquid. Hanging the bundle helps. You should have about a pound of curds. Remove the curds to a lightly-oiled baking or serving dish and press them flat; you can even weigh them down with a book over a piece of waxed paper. Place in the fridge for about 1/2 hour to an hour. Then cut into squares and enjoy!


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