Tomas and I had a wonderful weekend visiting friends in Indianapolis, but it was the kind of weekend that leaves you wanting to detox afterwards. As we were driving home today, I started craving a simple and healthy meal that would take minimal effort. The recipe that I couldn’t take my mind off of was Ina Garten’s pea soup recipe from her cookbook Barefoot Contessa Foolproof. I made a few modifications to her recipe and had to share it with you right away.
My mom has always had a passionate hatred of peas, even going so far as to hide them under her plate when she was a kid. I suppose I can’t blame her if the only peas she was served were unseasoned, mushy peas from a can. Similar to my recent brussels sprout obsession, I went through a bit of a pea obsession when I discovered them in college. I’m hoping to change my mom’s mind about peas with this soup. The soup really showcases all of the wonderful things about peas: it has a very fresh and sweet taste to it, and is quite filling for being such a light and healthy meal. The best part of it? The recipe only requires a few ingredients and, despite tasting so fresh, actually calls for frozen peas. I served it as a light dinner with some fresh bread, but it would also be nice as a starter or for lunch. I’m excited to bring it in for work lunches this week, too.
I do want to make one product recommendation: an immersion blender. It’s a must have for making soups like this one. Rather than making a massive mess and pouring your soup into a traditional blender, you simply add your immersion blender directly to the pot of soup – within minutes, the soup will be perfectly blended. To quote Ina, “how easy is that?!”
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 pounds frozen peas
- Salt and pepper
- Creme fraiche (optional)
- In a large pot, sautee the shallots in olive oil over medium heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add garlic and sautee for one more minute, until lightly browned.
- Add vegetable stock, frozen peas, 2 teaspoons of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Using the immersion blender on low speed, puree the soup until is coarsely blended (puree for longer if you prefer a smoother soup with less texture).
- If you do not have an immersion blender, puree 1-2 cups of the soup at a time in a traditional blender, then pour the soup back into the pot.
- Taste the soup to see if additional salt and pepper is necessary, which will depend on the vegetable stock you use.
- Serve hot, with a dollop of creme fraiche or some garlic bruschetta on top.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Spanish Pea Soup with Crispy Ham in Barefoot Contessa Foolproof.