Spring! Spring! Spring! And yet it is still very cold out side. But spring gave me the idea for green, and cold gave me the idea for soup, so we are making this delicious and healthy green soup to cheer you up. Peas are spring vegetables, grown by the Romans for thousands of years.
Did you know that the Princess and the Pea was written in the mid 1800′s by Hans Christian Andersen, that pea leaves are considered a delicacy in China, and that in the 1700′s French people thought that eating raw peas was ‘madness?’
CREAMY GREEN SOUP
By Isabelle Lapin
Preparation: 20 min
Cooking: 25 min
12 adults portions
2 onions diced
2 garlic cloves
4 Tbsp. olive oil
2 ½ liter (10-12 cups) chicken/No-chicken stock
4 cups celery sliced (1 cup= 2-3 stalks)
4 cups fresh spinach (12oz. bag= 5 cups)
4 cups zucchini sliced (1 cup= 1 zucchini)
2 cups fresh green peas (1pd peas in pod= 1 cup)
Salt and pepper
Basil for decoration
In a soup pot, sauté the onions with the olive oil, add the garlic. Let cook a few minutes until the onions look transparent, then add the stock. Put the spinach aside and add all the other vegetables in the pot. Let cook for 20 minutes uncovered and then add the spinach and cook for 5 minutes. Blend the soup with a hand mixer or a blender. Serve decorated with basil leaves.
Tips and info:
You can sift the soup if you don’t like the texture. You can serve it with a sprinkle of feta cheese and/or croutons. You can replace the zucchini with kale (2-3 leaves=1cup) and the peas by asparagus 2 cups= 5-6 spears). You can replace the stock by cubes and water.
The pea is thought to have originated from Middle Asia. The Romans grew over 37 varieties of peas. Best grown in late spring, they grow on vines and farmers use bamboo cane to hold them up. Field peas are used in factories for freezing.
England is the largest producer of peas that are used for freezing in Europe. One serving of peas has more vitamin C than 2 large apples. Hans Christian Andersen wrote the story of The Princess and the Pea in the mid to late 1800’s. Pea leaves are considered a delicacy in China. The pea is only green because it is picked when it is immature. A ripe pea is more yellow in color. Eating peas that are green became in fashion in the 1600’s and 1700’s but was described by the French as “madness.”
Dried peas are used to make mushy peas, which are infamous as a side dish along side fish and chips in England. Peas can be eaten straight out of the pod. It is estimated that over 9000 peas are eaten per person, per year in Britain. The proper etiquette for eating peas is to smash them on the back of your fork.