Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Bright Green Spinach and Pea Soup

Yikes, it's about time for a spring recipe. Here's a fresh soup adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

Bright Green Spinach and Pea Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil, butter, or a mixture
2 green onions, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 carrots, thinly sliced
1 celery rib, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped marjoram or basil or 1 teaspoon dried
handful parsley, chopped
Salt and freshly milled pepper
1 large bunch spinach, roughly choped
1 cup shelled peas
lemon juice to taste

Warm the oil in a soup pot and add green onion, onion, carrots, celery, 1/2 of the herbs, 1 teaspoon salt. Keep the heat low, stir and sweat for 5 minutes. Add 6 cups water (or broth and water), bring to boil, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add the spinach and peas and cook 2-3 minutes. Add the rest of the herbs and the parsley. Remove from heat and blend in two batches or use immersion blender. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Stir in enough lemon juice, starting with 1/2 teaspoon, to bring up flavors. Serve immediately as the vivid color will fade.

Madison recommends garnishing with a swirl of creme fraiche, croutons, and edible flowers like yellow calendula.

The bowl pictured above is served with a scoop of cheesy polenta (from the same book), an extra squeeze of backyard lemon, and a backyard nasturtium.

I have to say I've made a few pea soups lately and I'm sick of everyone telling me to blend up those beautiful shelling peas! I can see how if your garden were overflowing you might want to hide the peas sometimes, but I'm all for keeping them front and center when I'm lucky enough to get some. Next time I'm leaving most of them whole to get that fresh pop of flavor.

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