I suppose that summer is shortly on its way, but somehow its approach never quite seems to hit me on time. When it does arrive, it feels abrupt. Each year I eagerly anticipate the end of the interminably long winter months. I wait patiently for the days to get longer and the air warmer. I look forward to the abundance of green: spring lettuce, peas, artichokes, and asparagus.
Although I revel in the pleasures of summer and realize that it promises much to look forward to, I just can’t help feeling that I should have appreciated spring more fully while it was here — especially since it’s only a matter of weeks until we’ll be celebrating the arrival of another long, hot summer.
Luckily, the past week has been a temporary reprieve from the coming heat. We’ve had many crisp, cool days with beautiful blue skies that embody springtime’s temperate beauty; and it couldn’t have come at a better time, as I wistfully cling to spring for just a little longer. So I seized the opportunity to make a sweet pea and edamame soup with mint and feta.
In this delicate soup, tender sweet peas and mild edamame are brightened with the fresh flavor of mint. It’s wondrously simple to make, not exacting in quantities and has great tolerance for improvisation. This soup tastes like springtime to me — it’s light and fresh with bright flavors that are just a little sweet and grassy.
Peas and edamame are combined with young spring onions, hit with a quick pour of grassy extra virgin olive oil and simmered together until just tender. Half is then pureed in the blender with a good handful of fresh mint and a squeeze of lemon juice. However, the feta is what really sets this soup apart; it melts ever so slightly into the light green broth, adding a salty creaminess to every bite.
Although it might seem odd that I’m advocating using frozen peas for this recipe, they are so readily available and require so much less work than shelling fresh peas that I see no reason not to use them, especially considering there is no loss of flavor. Of course if you wish, feel free to use fresh peas or even a mixture of fresh and frozen ones (as I said, the recipe is quite adaptable). I served this soup hot, but it is equally delightful chilled.
What are your favorite springtime dishes?
P.S. – a little sprinkle of Kale Powder would be a nice addition to this soup, if you are so inclined.
RECIPE: pea, edamame and mint soup with feta
- 2 spring onions, cleaned and coarsely chopped
- 225g/8oz frozen peas
- 225g/8oz frozen edamame (soy beans)
- 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 750 ml/3 cups filtered or spring water
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (a little less than the juice of ½ a lemon)
- 1 small bunch of mint leaves, coarsely chopped
- 190g/ 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 150g/5oz Feta cheese, crumbled for serving
- Place the chopped spring onions, frozen peas, edamame, olive oil, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes until peas and edamame are very tender, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.
- Place half of the soup in blender. Add in lemon juice and mint leaves; process until very smooth.
- Pour the pureed mixture back in with the remaining soup in the pot and add the cooked brown rice. Warm through before serving.
- Ladle the soup mixture into bowls, and top with crumbled feta. Garnish with additional mint and cracked pepper, if desired.
The soup can be prepared up until the addition of feta and frozen into individual portions. Reheat over low heat and top with feta when ready to serve.
Can be served either hot or chilled.
Number of servings (yield): 4 to 6
© 2010-2011 gourmande in the kitchen.