Monday, January 3, 2011

Fresh Pea and Parsley Soup

It currently winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, and unless you are lucky enough to live in one of those post-card-worthy places where it is always warm and sunny, there probably isn't too much locally-grown fresh produce running about. Sure, there may be some wonky-looking rutabagas running around, hiding out in the root cellar, but as for fresh greens and the like? Yeah, they're being flown in on a plane from Chile.

Which is why, during these cold winter months, I stay cold to get many of my veggies. Really cold. Ice cold.

Yes folks, I'm talking about frozen vegetables. Vegetables flash-frozen at the peak of freshness (god bless marketing for giving me terms like flash-frozen... its so... photographic!)!

Now, you will never see a canned vegetable in my kitchen. Ever. I don't believe in them. But frozen? Sure! Many vegetables are perfectly good when frozen! Carrots, peppers, chopped spinach, peas... Oh peas... Perhaps the perfect frozen vegetable.

Which brings us to today's recipe. As I stated in yesterday's post, I recently served this Fresh Pea and Parsley soup alongside my Roasted Tomato and Pepper soup at Christmas for a festive first course. Now, let me tell you: Even though the tomato was amazing, and warm and rich and all those great things, the light, fresh taste of peas and parsley was a deliciously welcome respite from months of heavy holiday food (along with being full of vitamins, good for you, etc etc etc...).

  • 2 lbs frozen peas
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Water, for steaming
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Put an inch of water in the bottom of a medium-sized pot. Using a steamer basket (or other steaming mechanism), steam the peas until just cooked. DO NOT OVERCOOK! NO ONE LIKES BROWNISH PEAS! The peas should remain bright green.
  2. Once steamed, shock peas in cold water to stop the cooking process.
  3. Empty water from bottom of steaming pot. Place olive oil and onion in pot and saute until softened and translucent, between 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add cooked peas and 2 cups stock to the onion pot. Begin to puree with immersion blender. Add stock, as needed, and continue to puree until almost smooth.
  5. Add parsley and puree further until smooth. Heat through over low flame. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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