Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thai-Inspired Fresh Pea Soup ~ A Quick Cure For the Winter Blues



When you’re in need of warmth and brightness, turn to my pea soup. If you find yourself yearning to see and taste something fresh and green, this soup will come to your rescue. A stop at the market to pick up some flowers, frozen green peas and a few other ingredients is an easy plan to cure the blues. This is a creamy, dreamy pea soup with a beautiful mellow flavor. It’s healthy, but you’d never know it by the rich taste. A scattering of whole peas, tossed in at the end, create a bright pop in your mouth against the smooth soup. This dish is particularly good in winter, when you need a fast-green-fix. It’s equally welcome during spring.
If feeding seafood lovers, some sauteed shrimp or scallops on top is elegant. It makes a wonderful first course on an Easter table or serve it alongside salmon on a buffet. Sandwiches are always welcome with this soup. I love slurping it from mug, on an rainy day, with a piece of buttered whole grain bread on the side.
You can make it ahead of time, it keeps for 2-3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.


This soup is made with humble frozen peas. It cooks in under 10 minutes or so. Full of sunny Southeast Asian flavors, it has coconut milk and a little heat from a chili pepper. The creamy coconut milk and chili compliment sweet peas in a harmonious way. Thai basil (or regular basil) and tangy lime create additional layers of cheerful flavor.
Frozen peas transform into something quite special. My co-workers really enjoyed the combination of sweet and spicy flavors. My husband texted me while I was at work stating that he loved the green soup.  It has been a keeper in our home ever since I first served it.






Fresh Thai Green Pea Soup Recipe

Makes 4 cups
Some Notes:
The soup isn’t too spicy so it should please everyone. I use just a small part of one tiny Thai bird’s-eye pepper in this recipe. I find them in my regular market. They’re very hot, but delicious. A little bit of minced jalapeno pepper will work too. Don’t use too much unless you want the soup to be very spicy. Because the heat level isn’t too overpowering, I serve it with Sriracha hot sauce on the side for those of us who like things a little spicier.
I use 1/2 of a can of full fat Thai Kitchen brand coconut milk in this recipe. I suppose you can swap it for lite coconut milk, but the soup won’t be as creamy. Don’t shake the can. Take the coconut cream from the top of the can.
Fresh Thai basil is peppery and feisty. It’s strong and holds up very well in soups. I adore it!  But regular basil is just fine too.
Rapunzel Vegetable Bouillon Cubes are: Made with Herbs, Non-GMO,Vegan, Organic
Using only premium organically grown ingredients, Rapunzel bouillons are created without the use of any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. A delectable flavor base for all your cooking needs. They are a wonderful for all kinds of soups and stews. I find them at Whole Foods or online. I usual opt for the no salt variety.

Ingredients:
  • 3 10-ounce boxes of frozen baby peas
  • Some or all of one Thai bird’s-eye pepper or a jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 small onion or one large shallot, diced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger peeled and grated. I use a microplane zester to grate it.
  • 2 limes, zest one and reserve the zest
  • 1/2 can of full fat coconut milk. I like Thai Kitchen brand.
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 Rapunzel Vegetable Bouillon Cubes (optional, see notes)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Coconut oil or neutral tasting oil for cooking
  • Serving Suggestions: Thai basil or regular basil, diced chives or scallions,  lime wedges, lime zest, flaky sea salt, Sriracha sauce
Instructions:
In a soup pot, saute the onion and chili pepper with some salt and oil until tender. Add the grated ginger, lime zest with a pinch more salt and stir. Toss in 2 boxes of the frozen peas, the the water and the rapunzel bouillon cubes (if using). Adjust the salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes or until the peas are tender but still bright green. Stir in the coconut milk. Without shaking the can, try to take some of the coconut cream from the top of the can, leaving some of the water behind. Carefully puree the hot soup in a food processor or a blender until creamy and smooth. Return the soup to the pot and heat on low. Add 1 1/2-2 cups of whole frozen peas from the third box.  Warm through.  Finish the soup with a few squeezes of lime juice.  Serve with fresh Thai basil and/or any of the other suggestions above. Enjoy!


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