As I write this, spring is coming to a close but you would be forgiven for thinking it’s already summer by how hot it is in various parts of the country. Hot weather always makes me want to eat raw fish or fish that’s been cooked in acid and sip on cold soups. While gazpachos are absolutely my jam in this space, I wanted to share this new-to-me soup I found while browsing through my copy of José Andrés’ Vegetables Unleashed: frozen pea soup.
There are a lot of things to love about this soup, from it being pretty pantry-friendly (yes, I consider our freezer as part of our pantry) to it being absolutely delicious, but perhaps the biggest selling point is that it chills quite quickly, even compared to other cold soups, making it ideal even for a hot weeknight when you want something that’s light, refreshing, and fast to make.
Basically, all you do is put some frozen (not thawed) peas into a blender carafe along with some sherry vinegar, and then add two cups of salted, boiling water to it and then blitz it all together until it’s a smooth puree. José suggests running the soup through a sieve to make it perfectly smooth, and while I”m not that fussy about things like that normally, here it doesn’t take long and the resulting texture is really lovely.
The fun part comes with this soup’s garnishes. Crème fraîche or sour cream adds some tart and creaminess to it (plain Greek yogurt also would work well here), while mint adds some freshness and almonds or pistachios provide crunch. Drizzle the soup with some extra virgin olive oil and you’ll have an elegant soup that is fairly effortless and all too easy to eat.
And at the end of a long, hot, day, isn’t that something we could all use?
Frozen pea soup
Lightly adapted from Vegetables Unleashed by José Andrés
Serves four as a light appetizer, or two hungrier people
- 2 cups water
- Kosher salt
- 13-14 ounce bag of frozen peas (not thawed)
- 1 tsp sherry vinegar
- 2 TB plus 2 tsp crème fraîche or sour cream or Greek yogurt
- 2 TB plus 2 tsp slivered almonds or roasted pistachios
- Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- Mint leaves, torn if large
Add the water to a small saucepan, bring it to a boil, and then add a good pinch of kosher salt.
Add the frozen peas and the sherry vinegar to a blender carafe, and when the water is boiled and salted, add the water to the carafe. Blend everything together until it is a smooth puree.
For a more elegant presentation, strain the soup through a fine sieve. Taste to adjust any seasonings, and then place into a container to chill for 30 minutes to an hour.
To serve the soup, spoon it into bowls and garnish with two teaspoons each of the crème fraîche, Greek yogurt, or sour cream and either the almonds or pistachios. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and garnish with the mint leaves and serve immediately.