Sweet Pea Soup With Pesto

Sweet Pea Soup With Pesto
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Back to posting after a lovely week spent away with my family. I am so thankful for the ability to safely reunite after so many long and challenging months apart. If you have been separated from loved ones, I hope you have had some special time together recently as well.

Now let’s talk about soup. I am a total vegetable snob, there, there I’ve said it. Living in California has completely spoiled me on the quality and availability of fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables. Not everyone can get killer avocados and strawberries in the dead of winter. For this I am also grateful. And because of it, despite the horrible wildfires, I may never leave the sunshine state. Well, that and my love of wearing flip-flops year-round.

Canned and frozen vegetables have never actually been my thing. But as a child of the 70’s and 80’s I was forced to eat my share of what I now call “back up vegetables“. I’ve blogged about my dislike of eating soft mushy vegetables before. Fresh, verses canned or frozen, does not even come close in comparison. But, sometimes there are exceptions, even for a vegetable and fruit snob like me.

This is my sweet pea soup with pesto, and it is a new favorite if mine. The ironic part is, it is made with frozen peas. Like my raspberry fruit bars, sometimes frozen fruit or vegetables can come in handy and simplify things, without sacrificing taste.

sweet pea soup

The real surprising thing is, frozen peas actually taste better than fresh peas in this recipe. Frozen peas are what’s called “flash-frozen” at the peak of ripeness. You can depend on the sweetness and soft texture. Store bought fresh peas tend to become more firm and starchy from the time they are picked to the time they are purchased. Unless, they are picked fresh from your own garden, frozen peas are just the way to go sometimes.

Many people ask what is the difference between petite peas and regular peas? Petite peas are usually smaller, sweeter, and more delicate than regular peas. Regular peas are meatier, and the skin on them is a little tougher. If your looking for the best brand of frozen pea, check this Epicurious article out which ranks all the different frozen pea brands on the market.

sweet pea soup

The honest truth about peas may surprise you. Peas are not actually a vegetable, they are a small, edible legume belonging to the same family as lentils, chickpeas, beans and peanuts. Peas grow in pods on a vine and once the pod is plump enough, they are considered “ripe” for picking. Parents are notorious for saying “eat your peas“, truth-be-told, there appears to be some solid reasoning behind all their nagging.
Health-wise, peas are actually great for you. Peas are a good source of plant-based protein, have a low glycemic index and a high fiber content. Peas are also high in iron, contain heart-friendly minerals including; magnesium, potassium and calcium and are also rich in antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C, as well as phytonutrients including carotenoids and flavonols which support cardiovascular function. The soluble fiber peas contain is said to help manage cholesterol levels, especially LDL cholesterol. So if you are not eating peas in your diet regularly, you better start, fresh or frozen, they are insanely good for you.

sweet pea soup

This sweet pea soup recipe could not be easier to make and is a lovely summer soup. This blended soup requires minimal cooking, and truthfully, it’s the pesto that takes more time to make. But don’t skip the pesto, it complements the earthy peas perfectly. The main pitiful you need to avoid when making this soup is cooking the peas themselves. Five minutes is all you need, that allow the peas to retain their beautiful, vibrant green hue, but if you’re reading a food blog, I think you can handle that.

Sweet Pea Soup

August 7, 2021
: 4-6
: 30 min
: 10 min
: 40 min
: easy

By:

Ingredients
  • For the Pesto:
  • 2 cups fresh basil (no stems)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (or pine and walnuts)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2/3 cup Extra-Virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • salt and black pepper
  • For the Pea Soup:
  • 2 tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 (12-ounce) packages frozen organic green peas
  • 4 cups good quality chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Directions
  • Step 1 For the Pesto:
  • Step 2 Using and food processor such as a popular, fitted with a metal attachment, mix the basil leaves, pine nuts and garlic and process till finely minced.
  • Step 3 With the food processor running, gradually in a slow steady stream, add the olive oil and process till smooth.
  • Step 4 Add the Parmesan, Pecorino and lemon zest, pulse to blend. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Set the pesto aside while you work on making the soup.
  • Step 5 For the Soup: Place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and when hot, but not smoking, add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Next, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer. Add the peas and chicken stock. Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Decrease the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Note: Do not overcook of the peas will loose their vibrant green color.
  • Step 6 Working in batches, place the soup in a kitchen mixer, such as a Cuisinart, fitted with a blade attachment. Add the salt and pepper. Puree the soup on high until smooth. taste and adjust the seasoning as need. Reheat the soup only slightly if needed.
  • Step 7 To serve: Dive the soup among serving bowls. Using a tablespoon swirl in some pesto and serve at once.

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