Monday, July 13, 2009

Drink your peas

by June

I know, I know: Pea soup is the metaphor for thick fog. But that's not this soup. This soup is a metaphor for walking into the garden early on a July morning when the tomato plants are starry with yellow blooms and the poppies are lively in the breeze and the pea pods look like stained glass in the sunlight. This pea soup is summer in a steaming cup...or a chilled glass.

Shouldn't pea soup taste as sweet as the peas we eat off the vine when we're standing among the vines?

With gratitude to Deborah Madison (again!), because she can do no wrong with a vegetable, here is what you need (and if you're as lucky as we were, it will all be growing in your kitchen garden):

Fresh-off-the-vine shelling peas, a pound plus
Tender new leeks, about six
A handful of parsley, stems and leaves
Sea salt
A dash of sugar
A dab of butter

As you shell the peas, put the peas into a bowl and the pods into a few quarts of water on strong heat. (Using more or less peas will make the soup more or less thick, but it will be delicious either way.) Add some chopped leek (two or three). Add some whole stems of parsley and a nice half-teaspoon of salt. Once it boils, turn down the flame and let the broth simmer for twenty minutes or so.

Meanwhile, chop the remaining leeks (enough to make a half-cup).

Melt the butter in a soup pot, then add the chopped leeks. Let it sizzle for a minute, then add a ladle of the broth. Cook until the leek is soft. Add in the peas, sugar, salt to taste, and a grinding of pepper (if, like us, you're not fussy about black flecks in your soup). Strain two-and-a-half cups of the simmering broth into the soup pot. In about three minutes, the peas should be bright green and cooked.

Use an immersion blender to zip it until it is smooth to the point of ethereal (or not, if you can't wait).

Serve steaming. Or chill the soup for a truly refreshing sipping experience.

If the children in your life are anything like ours, they will slurp it.

Last week, a friend took one taste and said, "If I were dead, this would bring me back to life." Yeah, me too. Maybe that's because the peas don't have the life cooked out of them; they still taste as if they are alive and growing toward the sun.


The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Looks delicious! I love pea soup (and lentil soup, and vegetable soup, and chicken soup, you get the picture). We are a soup loving family, and that dear loady, looks like a terrific one!

GardenMum said...

Will give that a go when our peas have grown - we planted them at the very end of the sowing season so there may be some wait but fingers crossed. Your post has made me impatient for them.

Anonymous said...
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Kristin said...

Mmmm, that looks yummy! Will have to get some peas at the market tomorrow :-)

vuejardin said...

Love you first photo, nice shots! Pea soup is good for health.

June said...

Lisa: We too hardly meet a soup we don't adore. This one is extra-special.

Garden Mum: Oh, this will be worth the wait for you. I'll be checking in for pea-progress reports over your way.

Kristin: Happy marketing. (Ironically, Birch was out scooping up pallets for new, friendlier compost bins when I noticed that your blog has a great how-to. Thanks for that extra bit of info just as we need it.

VueJardin: Pea soup IS good for health, and I must say this one was good for my spirits too. We've had precious little summer around here this year, and I can't get enough of the things that signal SUMMER. This soup does.

septembermom said...

June, thank you for visiting my blog and your kind words! Just the other day, my mom and I were talking about how my father loved pea soup. My mom (not a fan of pea soup) would lovingly make it for him during their years together. Thank you for the recipe. I think I may try it in honor of my dear Dad :)

Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig said...

Hi! Thanks for the comment over at my blog...I just had to come and see who was writing! And lucky I did...I LOVE pea soup. Love it! And this recipe is so simple...perfect. Note to self...grow peas next year!

Wren said...

Love a good pea soup! Looks wonderful...

Quinn Lavigne said...

yummmmmm! looks good! my peas arent looking too good.....i planted some more seeds in a hope for a late crop! i hope it works! maybe i'll have to come over and try that soup!

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious! Have you tried throwing some of the pea shoots in when you're cooking? They taste delicious (also in a salad) and add a little bit of a different flavour...

JGH said...

I always hated peas as a kid and was never too fond of them as an adult-- that is, until I had them straight off the vine! This looks like a fabulous way to fix them!

Flo said...

Looks delicious June! If my peas had been any good this year I definitely would try it straight away! As it is I'll have to wait for next year...

tara said...

deborah madison can do no wrong... have you made her corn fritters? holy goodness...
we just bought our seeds for our fall pea planting~ i have this soup to imagine for the next few months!

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