I'm not sure how old I was, or where I was, when I had my first taste of pea soup. What I do remember, rather distinctly, is that it wasn't a very good experience. The soup was putty grey, thick, pasty and completely devoid of taste. Gag-inducing really. And so it came to be that I did not have a very good impression of this dish.
Fast forward several years to a snowy December evening in Montreal. I'm at a Girls' Christmas party and the hostess is preparing a wonderfully fragrant, festive green soup. How lovely I thought. I take one sip from the warm bowl and begin purring with pleasure. "What is this??" I ask my friend fiendishly. "Oh. It's pea soup" she drops casually.
Pea soup?? Pas possible!
It was pea soup, alright. Only good pea soup. I mean really good pea soup.
Minted Green Pea and Spinach Soup as adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook:
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 2 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 + 1/4 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 + 1/4 cup frozen baby green peas
- 2 cups fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup whole milk
- sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
Melt butter in a large pot on the stove. Add chopped onion and cook over low heat until onion is tender (about 8 minutes).
Meanwhile, drain spinach and squeeze out excess liquid. Pour chicken or vegetable stock into the pot, stir in spinach and peas and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until peas are tender, about 10 minutes.
Add mint to pot, cover and simmer for another couple minutes.
Strain soup, reserving liquid, and place solids in a blender with 1 cup of reserved cooking stock. Blend until smooth.
Return puréed soup to pot and add whole milk. Return cooking liquid until desired consistency is achieved (usually about 1 cup).
Season, as desired, with sea salt and cracked pepper.