Tomas and I had a wonderful weekend visiting friends in Indianapolis, but it was the kind of weekend that leaves you wanting to detox afterwards. As we were driving home today, I started craving a simple and healthy meal that would take minimal effort. The recipe that I couldn’t take my mind off of was Ina Garten’s pea soup recipe from her cookbook Barefoot Contessa Foolproof. I made a few modifications to her recipe and had to share it with you right away.
My mom has always had a passionate hatred of peas, even going so far as to hide them under her plate when she was a kid. I suppose I can’t blame her if the only peas she was served were unseasoned, mushy peas from a can. Similar to my recent brussels sprout obsession, I went through a bit of a pea obsession when I discovered them in college. I’m hoping to change my mom’s mind about peas with this soup. The soup really showcases all of the wonderful things about peas: it has a very fresh and sweet taste to it, and is quite filling for being such a light and healthy meal. The best part of it? The recipe only requires a few ingredients and, despite tasting so fresh, actually calls for frozen peas. I served it as a light dinner with some fresh bread, but it would also be nice as a starter or for lunch. I’m excited to bring it in for work lunches this week, too.
I do want to make one product recommendation: an immersion blender. It’s a must have for making soups like this one. Rather than making a massive mess and pouring your soup into a traditional blender, you simply add your immersion blender directly to the pot of soup – within minutes, the soup will be perfectly blended. To quote Ina, “how easy is that?!”
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 pounds frozen peas
- Salt and pepper
- Creme fraiche (optional)
- In a large pot, sautee the shallots in olive oil over medium heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add garlic and sautee for one more minute, until lightly browned.
- Add vegetable stock, frozen peas, 2 teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Using the immersion blender on low speed, puree the soup until is coarsely blended (puree for longer if you prefer a smoother soup with less texture).
- If you do not have an immersion blender, puree 1-2 cups of the soup at a time in a traditional blender, then pour the soup back into the pot.
- Taste the soup to see if additional salt and pepper is necessary, which will depend on the vegetable stock you use.
- Serve hot, with a dollop of creme fraiche or some garlic bruschetta on top.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Spanish Pea Soup with Crispy Ham in Barefoot Contessa Foolproof.
Your soup looks so lovely and tempting that I promise to try it very soon! It is true that when I was a child, I’d have never believed that fresh peas (even frozen), could be at all related to those nasty grayish things that came out of a can. I’m delighted that you are adventurous enough to have tried something healthy that you never found on your own dinner plate! Two things, actually, counting those Brussels sprouts. Well done!
Gray peas definitely don’t sound appetizing, so I don’t blame you for your aversion to them. Hopefully this soup will make you reconsider!
I’m impressed that your good taste and talent for presentation have turned your mom’s thinking around. I thought for sure that her bias against peas ran too deep. But then this really does look good!
Why thank you 🙂 It reminds me quite a bit of the carrot soup we always make, so I think she might actually like this (and you too!).
I have a passionate LOVE of peas… no need to convince me 🙂 I also had one of those weekends that has left me in need of a few days detox. Soup to the rescue!
Hi Emma – so glad to hear I’m not the only one out there who loves peas! I hope you enjoy the soup!