Monday, July 11, 2011

Spring Pea Soup

When I was growing up, pea soup meant split pea soup.  I hated split pea soup.  It always tasted gritty to me.  But as I've gotten older, and more exposed to other types of soups, I realize that pea soup can mean all sorts of things.

A few months back (it was actually during the winter), my friend Sue and I took a cooking class at the local hospital on cooking without salt.  One of the dishes we made was an asparagus soup.  The technique was very simple, and I remember thinking you could use almost any vegetable and make any kind of soup you wanted!

Fast forward to earlier this summer.  I had about half a bag of frozen green peas in the freezer, and I wanted to use them up.  Had it been cooler, I would have made a chicken pot pie, but I wanted something simpler.  I remembered the asparagus soup from the cooking class, and decided to use the same technique to make a soup with the frozen peas.  Here's what I did....

Spring Pea Soup

1 bag of frozen peas (or whatever you have left over)
1 can low sodium chicken stock (or however much you have leftover)
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
olive oil
salt
pepper
white wine, optional
cream, optional

I began by sauteing the onion and garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes, until the onions were translucent.  I added the frozen peas and chased them around the saucepan a few time with a spatula.  After about 3 minutes, I added the chicken broth.  I really only added as much as I wanted to make- I eyeballed the amount of stock until I had enough to make 2 bowls of soup.  I brought the whole mess to a boil, then took it off the heat and let it cool about 15 minutes.

After it cooled, I blended the soup until it was velvety smooth.  I did this in 2 batches.  Be careful blending warm soup.  I have wiped more than my share of soup off my cabinets because I filled the blender too full.

After it was smooth, I poured it back into the pot and added salt and pepper to taste, a glug of white wine (sherry would be nice in this, too) and just a bit of cream to put it over the top.

I served this with shrimp pesto pasta, but it would also be wonderful with a grilled cheese of some sort!

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