Monday, June 12, 2006

Chilled Fresh Pea Soup

With so short a season for fresh peas in the pod, I kind of thought that posting a recipe for using them in a soup would be special. They're special enough at our place that rarely do we go far beyond the most basic of preparations---if we get that far. It gets tempting to enjoy them raw as they're shelled.

Alas, I found it surprising that so many recipes for "fresh pea soup" were all over the Internet. Just a little checking, however, revealed that just about all of them called for "fresh or frozen" peas. Many simply called for frozen. In my opinion, there's a big difference.

Quite simply, there were more recipes than I had the time or inclination to try for purposes of passing judgment. Just as important, I wanted to post a recipe that could not be found elsewhere on the Internet.

The answer I was looking for had apparently become lost over 28 years in time. It in Better Homes and Gardens Soups & Stews Cookbook, a source for soup recipes that Mrs. Yi's and my close friend Paula swears to. Never mind that with adequate Googling, you'll find two chilled pea soups from Better Homes and Gardens. Neither is the one to follow, which is delicious and quite distinct from the rest, at least in terms of ingredients. After preparing and trying it, aside from my relentless curiosity, I would have little inclination to tweak, further seek, or change in the slightest way.


2 cups fresh peas---they say "or frozen," I say fresh
2 cups shredded lettuce---try to get fresh garden
1 13 1/2 oz. can chicken broth
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup tomato juice
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
1 tablespoon snipped parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
fresh mint and sour cream for garnish

In a 2-quart saucepan, combine peas, lettuce, chicken broth, water, tomato juice, onion, parsley, salt, white pepper, and thyme. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Turn into blender container; cover and blend till smooth. Cool slightly; stir in whipping cream. Cover and chill. If desired, garnish with sour cream and fresh mint. Serves 4.

Better Homes and Gardens Soups & Stews Cookbook, Meredith Corporation, Des Moines, IA, 1978