Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pretty Peas

Okay, so my soup last night was less than fabulous. Still, I was hoping to start a "soup" category under my Recipes section, so maybe I'll just start with one of my favorite easy soups that I make often, instead of a culinary experiment gone bad.

I first tasted this soup in 2006 when my mom adapted it from a recipe she found in Darina Allen's Ballymaloe Cooking School Cookbook and served it at a spring party. It is such a beautiful shade of green and tastes so fresh, and the jalapeno provides a surprising and pleasant kick, I love to serve it as a vibrant first course.

Recipe for Pea-Cilantro Soup:
  • Homemade or good quality chicken stock, about 3 cups
  • One bag of frozen peas
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 small jalapeno, diced (seeds removed)
  • Chopped cilantro, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste

In a small saucepan, heat the stock on one burner. On another burner, in a medium saucepan, heat the butter on med-low and stir in the onions, cooking until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Add the jalapeno to the onions and cook a few minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Add the peas to the medium saucepan, and cover with the hot stock, so just the top of the peas are covered (if you come up short, add more stock, or, if you must, a little water). Bring to a boil and cook the peas until just soft, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and pour mixture into a blender. Remove the middle section from the lid of the blender, so steam can escape, but before you turn the blender on, add the chopped cilantro and salt/pepper, and hold a folded tea towel over the top to cover the hole in the lid as you blend. This allows the steam to be absorbed by the towel, but no green splatters across your kitchen ceiling. Once you have blended the soup, taste and adjust seasoning, and pour in the cream. Blend one more time on low. The soup can be chilled and served cold (with an optional dollop of fresh whipped cilantro cream) and it tastes great served hot, too.


sandra said...

Hi V- I love your articles,and the recipes and pics! This soup recipe has interested me, I plan to make it tonight! I also shared with Emilie the blog site, she is has been having fun in the kitchen, making sweet things, we love our sweets! Sandy

Sandra said...

I just made this soup, AMAZING!! It is so tasty and was alot of fun to put together! Thanks!
I have been searching for a Vegetarian Chili, do you have any favorites? S

Veronica said...

Awesome - thanks! I really love that soup. I wish I could take full credit for it...

I'm way overdue for some chili. Mollie Katzen is my very favorite go-to girl for vegetarian anything. I think I'll try to make the recipe for her Lentil Chili sometime: sounds so good! If you beat me to it, let me know how it turns out. :)