Sweet Pea Soup

When the winter rains arrive and drive us indoors, I crave soup. But today's rain is unseasonably warm, so I want to make a soup that is lighter with a fresher flavor. Sweet Pea & Spinach soup is my new favorite. I rarely use frozen vegetables, but peas are the perfect flash frozen vegetable to use in soups when not in season. Best of all, this soup is so quick and easy to make! A perfect lunchtime meal.


1 Tablespoon sweet cream, unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 1/2 cups chicken stock {organic, low sodium is what I like}
16 oz. fresh or frozen peas
2 handfuls {about 2 oz.} fresh spinach leaves
salt & pepper to taste
heavy whipping cream

In a large saucepan, heat the butter over medium low heat. Add the onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook the onions until they are soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the peas and spinach. Push the spinach below the liquid so it can wilt into the soup. Cover and simmer the soup over medium low heat for about 20 minutes.

Ladle about 1-1/2 cups of the soup into a blender. Cover the top with a towel to catch any splatters. Start with a low speed, then puree at high speed until smooth. Continue until all of the soup is pureed. Pour back into the saucepan and season to taste. Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve or cool and refrigerate for up to three days.

Serve in large bowls. Drizzle about 1 teaspoon of whipping cream over soup. Top with fried spinach leaves and a grind of course salt.

NOTE: If you prefer a thinner consistency soup, add more stock to the soup while pureeing.
There are all kinds of delicious variations you can make to this soup, depending on your taste.
Here are just a few:

- Start the soup with pancetta or applewood smoked bacon instead of butter. Render out the fat over medium heat. Remove from pan when crisp and add back to the soup as a garnish. The smokey pan juices will add lots of hearty flavor to this dish.

- Add focaccia croutons as a garnish. It will soak up the soup and melt in your mouth

- Top with mascarpone cheese for a richer, more textural creamy addition.

- Dust the top of the soup with sesame seeds. The nutty flavor of the seeds is a nice pairing to the earthy soup.

- Use vegetable stock for a vegetarian version.

Buon appetito!
copyright 2008 Alisa Barry

1 comment:

pve design said...

That soup is making me pea green with envy.
I want to taste a bowl now. Looks so lovely and warm.