Fresh Spring Pea Soup: Delicious Hot or Cold

Dwarf Gray Sugar peas
Garden to table: freshly shelled peas

Donโ€™t despair if you are sitting in June heat- this delicate soup is tasty served cold too. You can still find fresh peas to shell for this lovely simple soup at your farmerโ€™s market if you donโ€™t have any in your garden.

Shelling Time is Quality Time

This is a very easy recipe with just a few ingredients, and the most challenging part is getting all of those peas shelled. You may want to recruit some help. It would be a perfect opportunity to shell peas with a friend and catch up during the process. You might even be able to get some kids to help and show them where peas come from (besides a bag in the freezer!).

Dwarf Gray Sugar peas have gorgeous flowers

Dwarf Gray Sugar Peas

When I finally harvested the last of my heirloom Dwarf Gray Sugar peas I had about two pounds of podded peas. I couldn’t wait to make a fresh pea soup now that I had enough peas. We enjoyed the mildly sweet fresh peas all spring, either shelled and raw in salads, or lightly cooked with pasta, or mixed with vegetables.

I let the peas get big in the pod, so I could shell them, but this variety is also eaten as a very young tender pod. I recommend sugar peas versus English peas, which are very starchy. I donโ€™t know how this recipe would turn out with that variety.

Fresh spring pea soup
Fresh spring pea soup garnished with nasturtium flowers

You Will Need

2lbs Fresh peas (about 3 cups shelled; you can shell ahead of time and refrigerate for a day or two)

1 Medium yellow onion, diced, or 2 spring onions, tender parts chopped

2 Sprigs of thyme (optional)

Salt to taste

Olive oil

Makes four main course servings

Four Steps to Soup

1. Heat 2 -3 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy pot and gently sautรฉ the onion with the thyme sprigs.

2. When the onions are softย  (donโ€™t brown them) remove the thyme and carefully add 5 cups of water and ยฝ teaspoon of salt (more or less as desired).

3. Bring this to a boil and add the shelled peas. Simmer for a few minutes until they are just tender.

4. Remove the pot from the burner and use a stick blender to puree the soup until it is silky smooth. Careful with splashing, as per usual.

Serve immediately or chill and serve cold.ย  A garnish of edible flowers with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil is a pretty and elegant touch. I used nasturtiums which add brilliant color and just a hint of peppery spice.

This recipe was adapted from Alice Water’s method in The Art of Simple Food, a book I highly recommend.

ย Photos: Patricia Larenas, Urban Artichoke


Written by plarenas

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