Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

Fresh Pea Soup with Pea Jelly

Posted July 12, 2010

Pea, Basil, and Mint Soup

Adapted from The Modern Vegetarian
Serves 4

If you have an opened bag of really old peas in your freezer, don’t use those.  Do yourself a favor and buy a fresh bag. There is no need to thaw them before using.

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small yellow or white onion, peeled, finely chopped
18 oz. frozen petit pois peas
2½ cups water
Leaves of half a small bunch of mint
Leaves of a small bunch of basil
Pinch of sugar
1 tsp. salt

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan.  Add the onion and sauté until softened and translucent.  Add two-thirds of the peas, the water, half the mint and basil, the sugar, and the salt.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or until the peas are tender.

Put the soup in a blender in batches, adding the remaining peas and herbs, and blend to a smooth purée.  Adjust the seasoning to taste.  (DT: I wouldn’t make this soup too far ahead of serving time so it keeps the color.  Just enough to allow it cool is probably good.  Also, it is quite thick.  If you like thinner soup, thin it with water.)

Pea Jelly

You can find agar agar in natural food stores of Whole Foods.

2/3 cup water
Pinch of salt
4 oz. frozen shelled peas
1 tbsp. butter
1 small shallot, finely diced
2 tbsp. chopped tarragon
4 tsp. cream
½ tsp. agar agar powder or 1 tsp. agar agar flakes
Salt and pepper

Bring the water to a boil, add a pinch of salt and cook the peas until tender.  Drain the peas, reserving the cooking liquid.

Heat the butter in a small pan, add the shallot and cook until softened and translucent.  Add the peas, tarragon, and cream and simmer for 4 minutes.

Measure the reserved cooking liquid and make it up to 2/3 cup, if necessary, with water.  Return the cooking liquid to the heat, whisk in the agar agar and simmer for 2 minutes.  Pour the two mixtures into a blender and blend until smooth.  Pass through a sieve and season with salt and pepper.

Pour into a shallow plastic container and let cool before refrigerating.  Refrigerate until set (about 1 hour), then cut into cubes and serve with the soup.

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