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Author Notes: As the leaves start falling from the trees and you find yourself yearning to see and taste something fresh and green, this soup will come to your rescue. A stop at the market to pick up some flowers, frozen green peas and a few other ingredients is an easy plan to cure the winter blues.
The soup cooks in under 10 minutes. Full of sunny Southeast Asian flavors, it has coconut milk and a little heat from a chili pepper. The creamy coconut milk and chili compliment sweet peas in a harmonious way. Thai basil and tangy lime create additional layers of cheerful flavor. The humble frozen pea is transformed into something quite special.
This is a creamy, dreamy pea soup with a beautiful fresh flavor. A scattering of whole peas, tossed in at the end, create a bright pop in your mouth against the smooth soup. This dish is particularly good in the winter, when you need a green-fix. It's equally welcome during spring.
The soup isn't too spicy so it should please everyone. I use just a small part of one tiny Thai bird's-eye pepper in this recipe. I find them in my regular market. They're very hot, but delicious. Some minced jalapeno pepper will work too. Because the heat level isn't too overpowering, I like to serve it with Sriracha hot sauce on the side for those of us who like things a little spicier.
I use 1/2 of a can of full fat Thai Kitchen brand coconut milk in this recipe. I suppose you can swap it for lite coconut milk, but the soup won't be as creamy.
Fresh Thai basil is peppery and feisty. It's strong and holds up very well in soups. I adore it! I'll find any excuse to cook with it. It's wonderful in this recipe. But regular basil is just fine too.
If feeding seafood lovers, some sauteed shrimp or scallops on top is elegant. It makes a wonderful first course on an Easter table or serve it alongside salmon on a buffet. Sandwiches are always welcome with this soup. I love slurping it from mug, on an rainy day, with a piece of buttered whole grain bread on the side.
Makes 4 cups
- 3 10 ounce boxes of frozen baby peas
- Some or all of one Thai bird's-eye pepper, minced
- 1 small onion or one large shallot, diced
- 1 inch piece of ginger peeled and grated. I use a microplane zester for this. 2 limes, zest one and reserve the zest
- 2 limes, zest one and reserve the zest
- 1/2 can of full fat coconut milk. I like Thai Kitchen brand
- 2 cups of water
- Sea salt to taste
- Neutral tasting oil or coconut oil for cooking
- To Serve: Thai basil or regular basil, lime wedges, lime zest, Sriracha sauce
- In a soup pot, saute the onion and chili with some salt and oil until tender. Add the grated ginger, lime zest with a pinch more salt and stir. Toss in 2 boxes of the frozen peas and the the water. Adjust the salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes or until the peas are tender but still bright green. Stir in the coconut milk. Carefully puree the hot soup in a food processor or a blender. Return the soup to the pot and heat on low. Add 1 1/2-2 cups of whole frozen peas from the third box. Warm through. Finish the soup with a few squeezes of lime juice. Serve with fresh Thai basil and any of the other suggestions above. Enjoy!