Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sugar Pea Soup - some like it Cold, some like it Hot

Thanks to a cool May and June, our pea vines at the Bradner P-Patch are prolific.  In anticipation of a healthy yield, I explored making soup with snap peas from the Columbia City farmers market before mine were ready to harvest. This soup is nice hot or chilled. With 80 degree temperatures on the way, maybe we can peel off our sweaters if they haven't stuck, and slurp chilled pea soup with flavored ice cubes. Favorite garden snack tip:  sweet vine tips are great to nibble on while weeding. 

Fresh Sugar Pea Soup - Vegetarian
1 plus pounds or 6 cups of Snap peas
Juice of 1 small lemon - a nice choice would be to use Meyer's lemons, but increase the juice
Snip a healthy handful of long tender Chives
1 small potato
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup of cream (if you are willing)
creme fraiche - or mild yogurt
pinch of saffron
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
  • Soak the saffron in a 1/8 cup of warm water for 30 minutes while preparing the puree.
  • Cut and peel the potato and cook until tender in ample water. Set aside.
  • Trim the stems off of the snap peas.  Add the snap peas to boiling water, for about 2 minutes. Poach until just soft, but still have their bright color. Strain the peas.
  • Add peas, potato, 2 cups of potato water and chives (maybe 10 super long strands), juice of one small lemon, and the olive oil, into a food processor and blend.
  • Add 1/2 c cream, Make this to the thickness you like by adding more/less cream or potato water. If you prefer, add chicken or vegetable broth, or pea water, to thin the puree.
  • Salt, pepper, a little sugar if your peas don't happen to be a sweet variety and a dash of cayenne pepper
  • When ingredients have blended well, pour through a sieve or strainer, smashing the mixture through the screen to get as much pea puree as possible. (If the pods are sweet and tender, and any strings and stems removed, one could use an immersion blender instead and skip the step of using the sieve or colander to strain the tough stuff)
  • Stir and taste, correcting seasonings (more salt? more cream? more potato water? more lemon?)
  • Mix 1/2 cup of creme fraiche with teaspoon of lemon, saffron strands and saffron water for topping.
  • Put a few whole mature peas if you have them in the bottom of each soup bowl. Ladle soup into the bowl and garnish with creme fraiche and saffron strands.
Greek yogurt, or soft goat cheese with some extra liquid stirred into it to replace the creme fraiche. For chilled soup, an alternative spice to saffron is to create ice cubes with mint and lemon zest, or ginger and cumin, or other herbs. Adding a couple of ice cubes to the soup on a hot day, would be a treat. A winter variety using frozen snap peas would be to add crispy garlicky croutons and some grated or crumbled cheese.

1 comment:

Rebecca Bush said...

This looks beautiful and refreshing! We got lots of sugar peas with our farm share this week too.