Because a bare cupboard and an empty fridge are sad sights to behold, the Urban Forager hunts through food & wine shops bringing home tasty morsels that make your kitchen table the best place to eat in town.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pea Soup - Not Just for Winter Anymore

When you have a small kitchen, choosing which tools and gadgets deserve a drawer or cupboard or spot on the counter involves ruthless triage. A toaster, coffee maker, food processor and KitchenAid mixer are the only large items that make the cut in my kitchen. The crockpot (I miss it) and microwave (don't miss it at all) had to be banished to the garage. I gave the breadmaker away and the ice-cream maker is in my bedroom closet (which doesn't inspire much hope that I'll suddenly start churning ice-cream every week. Anyone want an ice-cream maker?)

Smaller items I give a little more leeway to. Certain kitchen tools stay in one of my three kitchen drawers not because I use the tools all the time, but because they do one specific job really well. Like a tiny sieve I use to make Summer Pea Soup with Cardamom. Whenever I make this soup I am reminded how much I love this little sieve, even though I honestly don't remember how or when it even ended up in my kitchen. From where does this love spring? From the silky smooth texture of the soup, that's where.

This soup involves three steps: simmer the peas, puree the peas, push the peas through a sieve. This third step traps the chunky insides and skin of the peas and releases their essence, a liquid form of pure flavor. Do not try this soup without a sieve - both a colander and cheese cloth will result in a soup texture that is unappealingly babyfood-like. But when the soup is made right, it's hard to believe such a simple process can yield such a lovely soup.

Summer Pea Soup with Cardamom
3 cups fresh peas or a 16 oz bag of frozen peas
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/8 tsp cardamom or more to taste (but don't overdo it - the cardamom should be very subtle)
Optional garnish: fresh parsley and a swirl of creme fraiche

Simmer the peas in the broth for five minutes or until just soft. Puree in a blender or food processor. Pour a little bit of the puree into the sieve at a time. Hold the sieve over a medium-sized bowl, or the pot you simmered the peas in. Push a spoon against the peas, mashing them so their liquid drips into the bowl. Discard the chunky remains of the peas (or eat them later with salt). Re-warm the pea soup, adding more broth if you want the texture to be thinner. Add the cardamom and a pinch of salt.
Garnish with parsley and/or creme fraiche.

Recipe by J.Meier


Anonymous said...

Let's not forget the ice cream maker was a wedding gift - we can't just give it away:) That soup look delicious.

Jennifer Meier said...

Not to mention that I did make some amazing pumpkin ice-cream with it. Maybe I can knock a wall down so my bedroom closet becomes an extension of my kitchen....