For me, frozen peas summon memories of dinner at Pop Pop's, piled up next to a London broil, waiting to be folded into mashed potatoes dripping with butter. They're kind of a core memory for me, so out of pure nostalgia, I keep a bag stashed away in my freezer at all times.
They rarely see the light of day.
They're so boring! More often than not, I end up using them to ice a tweaked-out knee. Such an indignity.
But today, I am paying those peas my respect. After a hellish plane ride following a crippling bout of flu, grocery shopping was not at the top of my priority list last week. When I was finally ready to eat again, my fridge was bare but for a forlorn onion and some yogurt. I peered into my freezer and there sat those peas, patiently waiting for me to notice their existence.
Dressed up with fresh mint and a swirl of tangy yogurt, frozen peas turn into a cheerful, warming soup perfect for a weekend lunch or a late-night dinner. Add some crusty whole-grain bread and it's a meal.
Pea Soup with Fresh Mint
Yield: Serves 2 main dish or 4 side dish portions
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 15 min Total Time: 30 min
1 Tbs butter or a glug of olive oil
1 leek (or 1 onion), chopped
16 oz / 450 g frozen peas (1 bag)
2 cups / 470 mL vegetable stock
large handful fresh mint leaves
large glug or heaping spoonful of kefir, plain yogurt, sour cream or creme freche
Salt and pepper
Finely chopped chives (optional)
Heat butter over medium heat til melted, then cook leeks til tender, about 7 minutes. Add stock and peas (they can be frozen at this point). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for about 3 minutes more. Add mint leaves, then blend til smooth. Blend for a while- the skins can be kind of chunky and gross if you're too hasty. If the soup is too thick, add some more stock or hot water til it reaches a nice consistency. Stir in yogurt and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with chives and serve.
A note on yogurt: This adds a really nice tang to the soup. If you only have milk or cream, you can sub that it, but you may want to finish the soup with a squeeze of lemon to brighten it up.