This pea soup is layered with flavor, and epitomizes the green sprouting shoots of spring. The bright color alone announces that winter has left us behind. Tangy feta, pureed sweet peas, a dash of cayenne pepper, and earthy savory combined with the pop of fresh, whole peas is a celebration of texture, flavor, and well…spring —eat-drink-garden
*Note: While I do grow peas in my garden, organic Peas are one of the few vegetables that I will often buy frozen. I do this because they are blanched and flash frozen immediately after they are harvested. Peas that aren’t picked at just the right time can get starchy, altering the flavor of the soup. Obviously fresh, perfectly picked peas are ideal, but if you decide to go with frozen peas, simply thaw them on the counter while you prep your other ingredients.
In a heavy bottomed skillet on medium heat; sauté leek, shallot and fennel in olive oil for about 10 minutes (careful not to brown) until soft and translucent.
Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Pour in peas (reserving 8 ounces for garnish) and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and pinch of cayenne pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Puree in a blender in batches, or with a hand blender, until completely smooth. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Strain the pureed soup twice through a mesh sieve. This will make it smooth and silky without adding cream. Ladle into bowls and garnish with peas, feta crumbles, pea tendrils and a drizzle of savory oil.
Remove the leaves from the savory. In a blender, combine oil and savory leaves. Drizzle over soup.
*Note: If you don’t have savory in your garden, try your favorite herb. Mint, basil or tarragon would make good substitutions.
I produce the Santa Barbara based blog Eat Drink Garden. The inspiration for every meal, for every cocktail, and for every blog entry is from my garden. I learned a few years ago that if you choose seasonal fruits and vegetables, you don't need to do too much to them in order to make them beautiful and delicious every time.