Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pea Soup - Soupe aux Petits Pois

Our son is now fully recovered from his very bad coxsackie virus; he does have a few scars on his hands and feet but they are steadily disappearing. Pff! What a relief! His case was so bad that I took him for the second time to the pediatrician to request stronger pain relievers to have him start eating and talking  again. He stopped talking!!  (that's when we realized how sick he was!). When she saw him, the nurse's very first words were "I wish I had some students to show them a REAL case of coxsackie!!!" (???!!!!! Although I am totally in favor of teaching-clinics, I did not find this sentence really appropriate to say to a parent who comes desperate to get CARE for her sick child! However it did make me realize that our son did, indeed, developed very serious symptoms! (Apparently the nurse had seen a father develop such symptoms and yes he was MI-SE-RA-BLE!))
Now that our son is out of his misery, we are steadily working our way down his list of "dishes-I-am-going-to-have-when-I-can-I-have-real-food-again": viennoiseries (checked), fish with wild rice (checked),  candies (checked), Pho (checked), bagels (checked)...
While looking for fresh lemongrass at the Asian supermarket to make Moules-Frites, my eyes caught "fresh peas leaves". Since I can not leave a supermarket without trying something new, I decided to purchase (among other Asian vegetables only my relatives in Singapore could identify without hesitation), a small bag and to make a soup out of it. I did not dare to just saute the vegetables in case they would be too bitter.
This reminded me how my grand-mother used to feed us fresh peas (without the leaves though) that were grown by farmers in the two fields surrounding her house in the country. She would go and steal pick small peas... Nothing too wrong with that, except that they were a variety made to feed... cattles! And certainly not grown the organic way!!  She could not care less. She thought that because she was picking them very young, they were not too starchy for us to eat! Anyhow, we survived the few summers that peas were the crop-of-choice in the region!

In order to spice up this soup a little bit, I made a feta-and-parsley (mint would have been a more British version) dip to doll up on top of the soup. This was a real add-on that we all enjoyed very much.
Our children liked having a few round peas in their soup as well... and were asking for more the next day! This would be perfect for very young children (without the feta-dip). One more nice-and-easy soup to make for the winter! Next on the list? Empanadas! Bon Appetit!

Ingredients   - A bag of fresh peas leaves
- A bag of frozen peas
- 2 cloves of garlic

For the optional feta-dip (made in a blender)
- Feta cheese
- 1/2 bunch of fresh parsley (I used curled but flat would have been OK)
- 1 TBs of Olive oil
- A spoon of plain yogurt (if you need more liquid to blend the feta and the parsley).

  • In a pot, saute the garlic cloves in olive oil. 
  • Add the pea leaves and stir until they shrink (like fresh spinach)
  • Add the bag of frozen peas
  • Add water and let simmer until the peas are cooked
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve with fresh peas and a doll-up of the feta-parsley-dip

My Personal Comments

  • This soup is vegetarian if you omit the feta dip  
  • Mint would have been OK instead of Feta
  • You could chill this soup for the summer.

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