April 23, 2012

SPRING PEA SOUP


Yes, spring is my favorite season. How can I resist? Every living thing seems to be bursting with energy: our garden is explosively green; newborn finches are chirping outside of my studio window; friends are calling for last minute barbecue invitations. Hibernation is over, and I am loving it. 

Spring produce is in full effect at the market, and peas are happening. This soup is simple, flavorful, and honestly highlights the deliciousness of ingredient. I was amazed that the cooked peas stayed so green, even when I continued to enjoy the leftovers throughout the week. Feel free to serve the soup warm or cold - either way, it's damned good!

INGREDIENTS - adapted from Darina Allen's inspiring book Forgotten Skills of Cooking
(printable recipe)
  • 2 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 1 spring onions, or 2 scallions, sliced thin
  • 4 cups shelled peas (about 3.5 pounds of peas still in their pods)
  • sprig of mint (plus extra mint leaves for garnish)
  • 5 cups good quality chicken or veggie stock
  • plenty of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoon heavy cream


In a large soup pot or dutch oven, cook your bacon with the lid on for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add spring onions and cook another 2 minutes so that the bacon and onion flavors mingle nicely. Add the peas, mint, and stock. Toss in a few generous pinches of sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour in a splash of agave. Bring everything to a simmer and cook for about 7-8 minutes until peas are just tender. Taste for seasoning - I found myself needing quite a bit more salt. And depending on the natural sugar content of the peas you use, you may want a little more agave if you are yearning for a little hint of sweetness.

Add cream, and puree soup. Serve with a few mint leaves for garnish.

Enjoy!


Serves 6

74 comments:

  1. Ugh, I am so jealous! The bunnies slaughtered all 200 of my pea shoots this spring.

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    1. Oh no! That is so painful! We don't have bunnies, but tons of birds, squirrels, and raccoons to contend with. (And I have to tell you that those pretty peas shoots are at my neighbor's house - I don't have any this year either.)
      -E

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  2. A gorgeous spring soup! Really beautiful and so appetizing.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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    1. Thanks Rosa! It really is such a simple delicious recipe.
      xo
      E

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  3. Wow, pea pods already? Wow.

    We had pea soup last night:) Our bacon was 'fresh bacon,' though, which I bought without realizing that it tastes just like other pork cuts, and has none of bacon's deliciousness. It contributed nicely to the soup, though!

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    1. Emma,
      So funny! Fresh bacon? That's new to me. And you might get a kick out of this... the original recipe called for "lean" bacon - something I have yet to come across;)
      xo
      E

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  4. Do you think I can use frozen peas for the soup? Thank you.

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    1. Hi Jane, Darina Allen's recipe does call for fresh or frozen peas. I think it's worth a try:)

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  5. Thank you yummy supper for again having a delicious and seasonal recipe. I was wondering what might be a great drink or side dish to go with the soup might be. TERRIFIC pictures, both composition and colors.

    Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Anonymous, What a kind note! I think a little green salad or frittata would be a great compliment to the soup. And in terms of a drink.... hmmmm I guess a cold white wine or rose would be awesome.

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  6. Just went to the farmers market on Saturday and picked up english peas and thought about making pea soup or a spring pasta dish - perhaps tonight. Yours looks simply divine and tasty. Great photos! Hope you have a brilliant week ahead!!!

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    1. Hey Lisa,
      This soup is so easy. If you are short on time tonight - give it a try. I think you'll really like it.
      Gotta love the farmer's market in the spring!
      xo
      E

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  7. I am excited to try this. Heading to the market to buy peas! I have two questions. Do I need to buy Agave or could I use honey or sugar? And... do you think it would still be great without the bacon.

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    1. Abby, You don't need to use agave, a sprinkle of sugar would work as well (in fact sugar is what Allen calls for in the original recipe.) I wouldn't use honey here I think the flavor would be odd. And you may not need any sweetener at all if the peas have plenty of natural sugar.
      I do think the bacon really adds a nice salty flavor to contrast the peas, but if you are a vegetarian the soup could still be good with salty butter instead of bacon and a good veggie broth instead of the chicken stock.
      If you try a vegetarian version, I'd love to hear how you like it:)
      xo
      E

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  8. Those photos are breathtaking and the soup sounds delicious. You inspired me to plant peas yesterday and to look for them at the farm stand today. Thank you so much!
    Jill

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    1. Thanks Jill! So glad to play any part of pea-growing inspiration:)

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  9. I've been looking for fresh peas at our store and haven't seen any yet (locally grown, at least)! Will need to check out the farmer's market this weekend. The soup sounds perfect for this last thrust of rain. My whole family loves peas. Thanks!

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    1. Rachel, peas must be on your way soon. I'm so happy that spring veggies are finally here. I think your family would love the soup, plus you can make the whole thing in less than a half hour. Easy1

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  10. I just found your blog on Pinterest and you have so many recipes that I want to try.

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    1. Thanks Anonymous - Welcome!

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  11. Can't wait to try this! My family will eat peas in anything but I've yet to try homemade pea soup. Perfect for a spring dinner in the backyard! As always, looking forward to your next recipe.

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    1. Ann, I hope your crew likes the soup. I would guess that any pea lovers would be happy here. A spring dinner in the backyard, that sounds good:)
      xo
      E

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  12. GORGEOUS PHOTOS!!!
    I love how green and gray complement each other so well.

    I have the same vintage ball jar, use it for fresh herbs and flowers, it looks so beautiful with mint and peas :)

    If we ever had to do some food related photo shoot together, I have a feeling we would agree on all the styling and design :)

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    1. Thanks M! I would love to do a food shoot with you someday. I think we would have SO much fun.
      xo
      E

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  13. Your soup looks incredibly delicious Erin! I so can't wait until my peas are ready to be picked - it's a long way to go, but this soup will be on my list of things to make with the bounty. Great colour!

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    Replies
    1. Renee, ooh garden peas - they really are the best. How are your veggies coming along these day? I'm so happy for you and all the great recognition you are getting!
      xo
      E

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  14. atmosteatsApril 23, 2012

    What an amazing opening shot. I love the texture of the soup. I am constantly struck by your skill and artistry. Beautiful work with beautiful food.

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    1. You are too kind to me! Thanks for the compliments and encouragement.

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  15. Your photos are so inspiring. I'm teaching myself how to take better pictures as we speak. It's so much fun! They are getting better day by day and I hope one day with the right equipment and practice they will turn out like yours! Love the color of the soup, btw. :)

    Christina
    www.becauseofmadalene.com

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    Replies
    1. Christina, thank you so much for that sweet compliment! I am completely self-taught too. And I still feel so excited by the process and the constant learning. You sound totally inspired - keep going:)!!

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  16. Look at your peas! Awesome, enjoy spring love :-)

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  17. The peas are so gorgeous! I am still coming to grips with the fact that spring is here... I love this time of year too!

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    Replies
    1. Jane, it's still hard for me to believe too. A gray day yesterday takes me back to winter, but the sun it out again this morning and I am all energized and ready for spring!

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  18. My peas are blooming in the garden and i can't wait for them to be fully grown so that i can make this soup. Thanks for kitchen inspiration with delicious mindful recipes and gorgeous photos.
    xoxobabette

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    1. Babette, I can only imagine how good your peas will be:) I hope you enjoy the recipe - simple and good!
      xo
      E

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  19. Lovely soup, I looove peas and your photos are gorgeous <3

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    1. Delicious Shots, Thanks! Have a great week.

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  20. sanders ashApril 24, 2012

    GF newb here...heard about the site from two different friends...wow! everything looks
    amazing...beautiful pics and yummy-sounding food! i'll be a continuing fan!

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    1. Sanders ash, Welcome! Good luck with your transition to GF, I hope I can be of help to you:)

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  21. helen d from bostonApril 24, 2012

    every recipe is amazing! and this one really hits home, i've had
    a ton of peashoots come from my local organic market and really
    didn't know what to do with them, thanks yummy supper for
    being right on the case when good food is sprouting!

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    Replies
    1. Helen, You are too kind! Are you in Boston with those pea shoots? Someone must have a rockin' greenhouse.

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  22. spring peas are just happness. I love to shell them, and make all kinds of things with them. Your pictures are lovely and I would enjoy your soup.

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    1. Angela, I really enjoy shucking peas too. The ritual is so soothing. I hope you try the soup:) Happy spring to you.
      xo
      E

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  23. Green is my favorite color and your post is filled with beautiful shades of green deliciousness, Erin. I love peas and I'm sure this soup is delicious. A must try for spring!

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    1. Magda, my favorite color is green too! Hmmm... maybe that's why spring is especially delicious to me;)
      xo
      E

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  24. Now that I am house bound, and craving good greens....this makes my eyes pop. I love young fresh peas. I eat them raw by the handful when I get them and if I have enough later I make pea soup. I love the simplicity of the recipe and everything fresh. It's a must try and a probable keeper.

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    1. Oli, I hope you are doing okay and recovering well. Greens would probably help in the whole healing process. Wish I were near by to bring you a bit pot of this yummy pea soup:)
      xo
      E

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  25. This soup is so bright and beautiful! I grew up hating peas, but am currently on a mission to re-visit everything I once hated to see if my current self still agrees with my 10 year-old self. Peas are on the top of that list. Might have to start with this soup!

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    1. Adrianna, I hope your non-10-year-old self slurps down the soup with a smile on your face;)
      xo
      E

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  26. The color is perfect for Earth day! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Happy Earth Week to you!!

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  27. When I worked in a restaurant we used to serve the most beautiful vibrant pea and bacon soup. This looks very similar and absolutely delicious - I love the greenness of your photos!

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    1. Peas and bacon are such a classic combo and this soup does a really nice job of keeping the flavors intact. I hope you enjoy:)

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  28. Mmmmm...pea soup...gardens...spring green....Earth Day = wonderful seasonal fare. Beautiful pic of the peas on their vines.

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    1. Sarah, thanks:) Spring is such a joy, making Earth Day so easy to celebrate!

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  29. I just came across your blog, and one look at the first photo that came up, I subscribed. I'm an absolute sucker for a gorgeous photography, and beautiful sites. I love everything here! Love to you, you have an inspiring space! I'll definitely be back.

    -New Fan!

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  30. Hi Ellen, I am thrilled to have you as a "new fan!" Thank you for such kind words.

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  31. What a gorgeous soup Erin! Spring is my favourite season too, and I love fresh peas from their pods. They are just so sweet. I have fond memories of eating peas straight from their pods in my Grandfather garden :)

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    1. Jennifer, so true... nothing is better that veg straight from the garden. And those memories of childhood are so precious. I hope I can be that kind of grandparent some day.

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  32. That soup looks so fresh and so green and your photos are just so lovely. Its sort of spring here and the freak snow-fall days are becoming few and far between.

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  33. Erin, your photos are so gorgeous! I can't wait for my peas to grow to the size of yours. Happy gardening:)

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    1. Goboroot, Happy Gardening to you too. (I can't take credit for those peas - they are my neighbor's beauties.) But I've got plenty of other goodness growing out back:)

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  34. Peas are just about my favorite thing about spring. I love growing them and seeing the vines climb the trellises. Your soup looks lovely, and it's such a great color.

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    1. Lisa, aren't the vines so beautiful? Such elegance. Happy spring to you.

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  35. Beautiful soup.

    You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here offering a new theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.

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  36. What a gorgeous soup! As soon as I get a hold of peas at the Greenmarket, I'm making it - I've been searching for a delicious pea and mint soup recipe.

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    1. Laura, I think you'd really enjoy this soup. It is such a good, simple celebration of peas in all their glory;)
      -E

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  37. AnonymousMay 24, 2012

    nice opinion.. thanks for posting.

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So good to hear from you... I appreciate each and every note you leave for me!

Thanks,
E

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