The vibrant green color is perhaps enough incentive to make this gazpacho-like soup during the height of sweet pea season, but the fresh, bright pea flavor with a chile kick and a hint of mint and lime will convince you too.
Timing Note Be sure to allow enough time to thoroughly chill the soup before serving.
Technique Note Acidic ingredients, such as the vinegar and lime juice used here, will dull the color of green vegetables–green peas, green beans, asparagus, and broccoli. To avoid this, add any acidic ingredients just before serving.
Ingredient Note If you are using frozen peas and thus don’t have pea pods with which to make a stock, simply use water.
1 quart water
pods from the shelled peas
½ small yellow onion, chopped
1 pound fresh, shelled green peas (or frozen, thawed petit peas)
small handful of parsley sprigs, roughly chopped (1 ounce)
small handful fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped (¼ ounce)
2 small green onions, roughly chopped
several chives, roughly chopped
1 small Serrano chile, stemmed, halved lengthwise, seeded, and ribbed, optional
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
2 cups vegetable stock (from above), plus more as needed
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
microgreens or chopped fresh mint
blanched green peas
Mexican crèma or crème fraiche
Sriracha hot chili sauce (or other chile sauce of choice)
- To make stock, add water, pea pods, and onion to a 2-quart saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and simmer slowly, partially covered for 20 minutes. (If you don’t have pea pods, simply use water and bring it to a boil.)
- In the meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the peas, parsley, mint, green onions, chives, chile (if using), and garlic.
- Strain 2 cups of the boiling stock over the pea mixture, stir to distribute, and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Pour the cooled stock and pea mixture into a blender, in batches if necessary. Blend at high speed for a full 5 minutes. Add additional stock if soup is too thick, but remember that you will be adding a ¼ cup of combined vinegar and lime juice in the next step.
- Although not absolutely necessary, for an extra silky texture, force this soup through a triple-mesh strainer (using a pestle or large whisk) into a quart-size container.
- Cover and chill thoroughly.
- Just before serving (to preserve the vibrant green color), add rice wine vinegar, lime juice, and salt to the soup and whisk to incorporate. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- To serve, ladle the soup into chilled bowls or cups and embellish with one or more of the suggested garnishes.
Makes about 4 cups.