Aug 21, 2008

Sweet Pea & Spinach Soup

Filed under: Appetizers,soups,Recipes,soup — Tags: , , , , , — Kay @ 8:12 am

Bowl of happiness. That’s what it is.

It’s slowly turning autumn here without it having been summer yet. I was robbed of my summer! But in all honesty, summer heat never did much for me. I just never cared a whole lot.

Autumn has always been my favorite season. Golden leaves twirling down, hearing the wind howl around the house, rain vigorously hitting the window pane while I’m curled up on the couch. I love those long, dark and quiet evenings with a cosy lit fireplace, lots of candles and the scent of vanilla incense. Just give me a good glass of wine, some dreamy soft background music and great company. That’s home and happiness to me.

But the best thing has to be the smoky flavors of autumn. The hearty soups and stews, the sturdy greens, the steaming hot potatoes, the big tins filled with copious amounts of crisp, roasted vegetables. Good, honest and wholesome food with, occassionally, a little modern twist.


3 cups frozen peas
10 oz fresh spinach, rinsed
large onion
4 cups chicken broth
1 garlic clove

Optional: leftover chicken or turkey
Optional: pasta


The greens. Well, part of the greens that is. Here’s 3 cups frozen peas along with some fresh mint and basil.

More essential greens. Roughly 10 oz washed and dried spinach.

Coarsely chop the onion and grate the garlic. The garlic seems to be missing in my photo. Shame on me. There’s no fundamental excuse for this.

Get a large soup or sauce pan (this would be a great time to reinstate your Dutch oven!), pour 2 tbsp olive oil in there and sautee the onions and garlic over medium heat. It’s important to not let the onions brown. Once they’re translucent add your basil, mint (to taste), and spinach. When the spinach has shrunken, add the peas as well. Got everything in there? Good, now pour in the broth.

There they are! My babies! Admit you’re getting used to my spoons making an appearance! Drop 1/2 to 1 tsp of salt in there as well. Or season afterwards, if you like.

Bring the soup to a boil, but as soon as it’s boiling, remove pan from heat. Now puree it. It doesn’t matter how you do it, but you want to turn the whole thing into a smooth, creamy soup without any bits or parts floating in there. Unless you specifically want them floating in there, of course. I used a rod mixer because I can leave the soup in the pan that way (yes, I’m lazy), but you can also do this with a food processor, blender, or possibly even a hand mixer (never tried that, though). Steam broke the focus a bit. Sorry ’bout that.

Put the soup back on the stove and simmer over very low heat while you move on with the rest of the recipe. Let’s get a bit of crunch in there. Peel half a cucumber and mince it. I used about 2 cups. You can also do this with radish (will give a pretty color contrast to your soup).

Now I omitted this step, but if you have some leftover chicken or turkey -even a small handful of pasta will work beautifully- bake until light crispy and put it in there as well. Give the soup 5 more minutes over low heat. Garnish with cucumber slices, basil or parsley (maybe even a few whole peas) and sprinkle a little chopped chili pepper for a bit of heat and color effect. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, try a little crumbled feta on top! Serve with warm toasted bread slices.

I just can’t help it. I love bright colored foods.

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    1. 1

      The greenness of this dish is absolutely wild! I love it.

      Robin on Aug 21, 2008 @ 5:16 pm Reply
    2. 2

      That soup looks so vibrant and good!

      Kevin on Aug 27, 2008 @ 3:21 am Reply
    3. 3

      What a colour. Your soup looks soooo delicious :-)

      Joanna in the kitchen on Aug 29, 2008 @ 11:34 am Reply
    4. 4

      Hi!! I write you from Spain, and I ‘d like to tell you your photos are really great.
      I’ve found your photos on Tastespotting. I love them!! It’s a very good work. Congratulations.

      Sonia on Aug 29, 2008 @ 3:35 pm Reply
    5. 5

      MyMyMy, that is soooo lovely! You wouldn’t be offended if I sprinkled some cripsy pancetta on top, would you? ;)

      I’ve got all these things, hello tomorrow’s lunch!

      Peggasus on Sep 24, 2008 @ 11:26 pm Reply
    6. 6

      Beautiful photography. I love the vibrance of all those greens :)

      Megan Lee Katauskas on Sep 25, 2008 @ 12:57 am Reply
    7. 7

      Excuse me, but peas and spinach are NOT autumn vegetables This is a very strange post.

      Cindy Bradley on Sep 25, 2008 @ 2:57 am Reply
    8. 8

      Peggasus: Absolutely not, just sprinkle whatever you like :)

      Cindy: I like strange recipes and to me this is definitely an autumn thing :)

      Go crazy some time, peas and spinach are easily turned into autumn dishes with a little imagination! That’s the fun about cooking, you don’t have to think in boxes and stick to what others set as a ‘standard’. The sky is the limit.

      Kay on Sep 25, 2008 @ 7:32 am Reply
    9. 9

      I don’t know what Cindy Bradley is talking about. I think it’s a beautiful post! It looks vibrant, the pictures are great and the recipe is fun. Very well done. Found you on foodgawker, keep up the great work and ignore the whiners.

      Amy on Sep 25, 2008 @ 11:26 am Reply
    10. 10

      Yummy.. I haven’t cooked a soup.But I’m interested with this recipe. I want to try it. We don’t have autumn season here but I love hot soup in raining season.

      aeireck on Jan 30, 2010 @ 3:18 pm Reply
    11. 11

      Love,  love… love!!! I do not know how it will be in autumn, but before Easter this is THE BEST!!! Even my teenager was happy:)
      Thanks, darling Kay!

      Diana on Apr 1, 2010 @ 10:58 pm Reply
    12. 12

      Well for those of us who have changing seasons-both peas and spinach, which fizzle out in summer heat, can be planted again in late summer for a fall/early winter harvest. So you don’t need to limit yourself to winter squash and “roots” in the fall. With row covers and hoop houses (no additional heat needed) many cool season vegs can be harvested through the winter. Google “Eliot Coleman” for more info.
      Kay your soup looks beautiful; I think it would be luscious in any season.

      Jodi on Aug 13, 2010 @ 9:49 pm Reply
    13. 13

      What a wonderful recipe can’t wait to try it, but I have a query, Fresh basil is not easily available in my area, would appreciate if you could advise how many teaspoon I could use from dry basil (I have a bottle of sweet basil curshed dry leaves).

      Izabel on Oct 6, 2010 @ 2:57 pm Reply
    14. 14

      This looks so tasty, I love spinach and am always looking for ways to use it. Thanks for the great recipe!

      Louisa [Living Lou] on Aug 18, 2011 @ 6:34 pm Reply

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