This is one of my favourite soups, an oldie but a goodie. This recipe is adapted from an old Martha Stewart recipe, in which the onions get cooked down forever with water to make a super concentrated, salty bath for the peas. Then the whole thing gets blended until smooth and gets enjoyed like the spring gift that it is.
I’ve replaced Martha’s onions with some leeks. And, because greens are just the best thing, I’ve added a big handful right before blending. It’s a sneaky trick usually employed by mothers who want to boost nutrition for their little ones, but I say that we can turn our soups to salads, if you know what I mean. Green is the most balancing colour of food to eat, greens are rich in alkaline minerals and even contain protein. How cool is that?
If you can find nettles, why not add them? Nettles are the epitome of a beauty food. Rich in silica, nettles are like food for your hair and skin, helping to smooth wrinkles, boost hair growth and even help to ease seasonal allergies. When cooked down, they taste a little tea-like, but that only serves to make the soup taste more interesting.
And of course you can use fresh peas if you can find them. Peas, although technically a starch, are a good source of flavonoid and carotene antioxidants, plus anti-inflammatory omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. Be sure to let the peas sit in the hot water rather than boiling them. You’ve come this far and don’t want to make your peas less nutritious by cooking them too long.
Here’s the recipe. Enjoy this soup hot, cold, with a poached egg on top, truffle salt, mint, lemon juice, a little cashew sour cream or yogurt, serve it as a side or a main, the options are endless.
Spring Pea and Greens Soup
- 2 small leeks, sliced
- Knob of butter (try to find grass fed and/or organic)
- Salt and pepper
- Water (a kettle-full)
- 2 cups frozen peas (organic, if possible)
- 1 giant handful of any type of green (kale, spinach, nettle leaves…)
Heat the butter in a large pot and add the onion. Saute, with a big pinch of sea salt and a grind of pepper, until soft. Add around a kettle-full of water and bring to a boil. Simmer until the water reduces a little, around 20-25 minutes. Add the peas and nettles, if you are using them. Give everything a stir and turn the heat off. Peas actually contain omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, which get damaged by heat.
When the soup mixture has cooled slightly, blend until super smooth. (If you’re using a green other than nettles, add it now.) You may need to do this in batches.
Taste and add sea salt if needed. I usually add a big pinch.
Transfer to bowls and serve. Makes around 8 cups or 1-6 servings.