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 and a bit of dill. So creamy, but not a drop of cream in it. You’ll want to make this again and again.
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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 nobbly 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. Some things didn’t germinate at all and others became massive monsters. I planted peas twice, and still only have a few plants – just enough for a little nibble here and there. Lettuce didn’t even peek its head out of the ground, even though I tried seeding it several times. Kohlrabi went into hiding – didn’t feel like growing this year, and the pole beans are just starting to meander their way around the teepee poles.
Yet the corn is eight feet tall, and the potatoes have become as big and tangled as a bramble patch – I have no hope of seeing where the rows are. Parsnips are up to my knees and tomatoes up to my armpits. We’ve even got a small watermelon growing – the first one ever.
We cannot keep up with all that wonderful produce. Yet here I am, making soup with a bag of frozen peas. Yes, you may ask why.
- No peas in the garden – except a few spindly plants.
- Need to make room in the freezer – gotta use up stuff.
It’s like that fairy tale where the food just keeps appearing on the table. Our freezer magically keeps filling itself so I never have more than a smidge of room to put something new into it. So I took out a bag of peas and made a little divot where I can now add a bag of fresh garden beans. I don’t think I’m really solving my problem. Hmmmm.
I’ll have to have some soup while I figure that one out.
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.
When a friend drops by and you can share a bowl, you are sharing a bit of summer.
I’m feeling thankful. (Frozen peas are a blessing, too.)
* * * * *
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.
- 2 tablespoons butter or ghee (use oil for vegan & dairy-free version)
- 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups chopped)
- 1 cup diced celery
- 6 cups frozen peas (one 750gm/26oz. bag), or use fresh young peas if available
- 4 cups (960ml) chicken or vegetable stock (use vegetable stock for vegan version)
- 1 cup (240ml) unsweetened apple juice
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- ¼ cup (20gms) packed, finely chopped dill (remove stems before measuring or chopping)
Heat butter in a 3 or 4 quart/litre 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.
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