This light and lovely green pea soup is wonderful hot or cold — a perfect summer meal. All you need is a bag of frozen peas (or fresh garden peas) and a bit of dill. So creamy, but not a drop of cream in it. You’ll want to make this again and again.
That is the word I feel when I look at my lush and bountiful garden. Thankful for all this goodness at its bursting sweet best. Corn is as tall as a house, beets as big as my fist, sweet crunchy carrots, potatoes as big as shoes, and herbs growing with wild abandon. The path down the middle of the garden is no longer a path, but an obstacle course of sprawling yellow calendulas and tipped-over flowering cilantro. I need to step over the crazy red poppies I love to leave growing where they will and force my way between the leg-tangling leaves of kale. The potato plants are up to my waist!
What happened to this garden when my back was turned? When did it turn into a jungle? It’s been a strange year for growing. All that rain produced massive garden monsters. And here in the country, those have become an all-you-can-eat buffet for the resident deer population. Those pesky intruders have greedily helped themselves to the tops of all our beets, beans, cucumbers, lettuce, and peas. We’ve tried to deter them with all manner of folk remedies, but nothing worked, so now we’ve resorted to putting wire cages over our rows to keep them from nibbling. We just can’t cage the peas, so we need to beat those deer to the harvest and pick our crop as quickly as we can.
Sweet fresh green pea soup — it’s a taste of the garden in a bowl. The light flavour and smooth texture are a delight; spoonfuls of silk slipping down your throat. Bright grassy notes of dill complement the sweet base of green peas. A splash of apple juice adds a subtle tang. It all comes together for a little taste of green garden heaven.
Kitchen Frau Notes: If you’ve got fresh peas, use ’em — but only if they’re nice and small. If they’re too ripe, peas can be mealy and bitter and totally change the tone of this soup. Frozen peas tend to be picked when they’re smaller and sweeter, so they are often a better option for fresh pea soup.
To make this soup vegan, use oil instead of butter and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock.
Sweet Green Pea Soup with Dill
- 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
- 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups chopped)
- 1 cup diced celery
- 6 cups frozen peas (one 750gm bag), or use fresh young peas if available
- 4 cups (960ml) chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ cup packed, finely chopped dill (remove stems before measuring or chopping)
Heat butter in a 3- or 4-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7 – 8 minutes, until the vegetables are translucent and soft.
Add the peas, stock, apple juice, bay leaf, salt, and white pepper.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low boil, and cook for 5 minutes, uncovered. Remove the bay leaf.
Purée the soup in a blender, in two batches, or use an immersion blender, until it is silky smooth. Return the puréed soup to the saucepan. Add the dill and taste for seasoning. Add more salt or pepper if it needs it (depends on how salty your stock was). Reheat the soup just until it starts to simmer. Serve and garnish with dill fronds.
* Alternately you can serve the soup cold. It’s also delicious that way, on a hot day.
For more great recipes visit my food blog at www.kitchenfrau.com