I Love Spring…
This time of the year the cooking magazines’ covers are filled with fresh images of green vegetables… this was always my favorites. The peas, asparagus and other spring vegetables got to be my own custom tell tales of good weather.
… And the New Vegetables that show up…
With the changing season, we not only feel like changing clothes but also food and ingredients. And fortunately for all of us who enjoy eating fresh and colorful veggies, this is the perfect timing as more and more delicious vegetables and fruits show up at the market.
… Especially Sweet Peas!
The first to appear are the sweet peas and the fava bean.
It’s so nice when I go to the market and there they are: bags of freshly peeled bright green dots. It gives me the feeling of being part of something very real, a part of the land. So much more involving than buying a bag of frozen produce…
Well, I never resist and always end up buying some, especially the peas. We will get to the fava beans… 🙂
And the past Saturday was one of those moments. Between marvelous rapini (that ended up not having a story here, I cooked and ate them too quickly), polished eggplants, almost green tomatoes just like my mom used to buy, there where the fresh peas, polished, shiny. They jumped to my lap, in the shape of a considerably sized bag.
And what about you? What do you buy the most at this time of the year?
I must have brought more things because I found myself closing the fridge with one hand and pushing the excess back inside with the other. Just like the subway in Tokyo…
So, back to the peas: the first thing that I thought about was soup. It might seem odd since the weather has been warming up. But a Spring flavored soup is perfect for dinner this time of the year.
The fresh herbs are also good for you
And because on these market trips I always end up bringing an immense amount of herbs, most of them for free, a pea and cilantro soup seemed to be a perfect idea to celebrate the new season. By the way, if you don’t remember, read here about how cilantro is an almost free superfood.
The art of making soup with fresh herbs is to not cook them for too long. No, never! What I do is add them right at the end, just before blending. I let them soften with the leftover steam inside the pot for 2 or 3 minutes and then …. Blend away.
The peas also require very short cooking: 15 minutes are enough. This way you’ll have a soup with pure, well-defined flavors.
Spring Soup with Peas and Cilantro
For 6 people
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 1 big zucchini
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 leeks (or 1 leek and 1 white onion)
- 3 cups of fresh peas (you can also use frozen peas, of course)
- 1 cup of cilantro
- ¼ teaspoon of sea salt
- 1 liter of boiling water
- Optional: 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Peel and cut the zucchini into cubes.
Mince the garlic cloves.
Thoroughly wash and cut the leeks into thin slices.
If you use the onion instead of 1 leek, peel and cut it into pieces.
Put the pot on the stove, with the coconut oil, the garlic, the zucchini and the leeks (and the onion, if you choose to use it). Cover it and let it sweat over low heat for 10 minutes. Mix it once in a while – two times is enough.
Heat up 1 liter of water. Add the peas in the pot and 800 ml of hot water. Turn the heat up and let it cook on medium heat for 15 minutes.
Turn off the heat, season with salt and add the cilantro to the pot. Cover for 3-4 minutes.
Mix the soup in the blender (I use the stick blender).
At this time use the rest of the warm water to adjust the consistency to your preference. I ended up using all the water, I didn’t want a soup that was too thick.
Now add the lemon juice in and adjust the seasoning – salt and pepper – to your liking.
I actually didn’t add more salt – I like to taste the peas sugary flavor and I feel like the lemon already balances everything out sufficiently.
Fresh cilantro leaves are a must at this stage.
The soup would also be great with a teaspoon of natural coconut yogurt, however, at the moment I don’t have any 🙁
For a saltier touch, roasted cashew seasoned with tamari. Or, for a non-vegan option, some small organic feta cheese cubes.
But of course, you can add whatever you like!