Thursday, December 4, 2014

Fresh Pea Soup With Coconut Milk & Thai Chili

When you’re in need of warmth and brightness, turn to this soup. If you find yourself yearning to see and taste something fresh and green it 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 blues. This creamy soup has a beautiful mellow flavor. It’s healthy, but you’d never know it by the rich taste. A scattering of whole peas, tossed in at the end, create a bright pop in your mouth. This dish is particularly good in winter, when you need a fast-green-fix. It’s equally welcome during spring.

Made with humble frozen peas, it cooks in about 10 minutes. Full of sunny Southeast Asian flavors, it has coconut milk and a little heat from a chili pepper. My co-workers really enjoyed the combination of sweet peas and spicy flavors. My husband texted me while I was at work stating that he loved the green soup.  It has been a keeper in our home ever since I first served it. 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. 

Fresh Pea Soup Recipe

Makes 4 cups
Some Notes & Tips

You can make it ahead of time, it keeps for 2-3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

The soup isn’t too spicy so it should please everyone. I use just a small part of one tiny Thai pepper in this recipe. I find them in my regular market. They’re very hot, but delicious. A little bit of minced jalapeno pepper will work too. You can serve it with Sriracha 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. Don’t shake the can. Take the coconut cream from the top of the can.
Fresh Thai basil is peppery and feisty. It’s strong and holds up very well in soups. I adore it!  But regular basil is just fine too.
Rapunzel Vegetable Bouillon Cubes are a wonderful for all kinds of soups and stews. The produce a fresh and pure tasting broth. I find them at Whole Foods or online.

I use a microplane zester to grate the ginger. 

  • 3 10-ounce boxes of frozen baby peas
  • Some or all of one Thai pepper or a jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 small onion or one large shallot, diced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger peeled and grated
  • 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
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes. I use Rapunzel No Salt Vegan Bouillon.  
  • Salt to taste. I use sea salt. 
  • Oil for cooking
  • Serving Suggestions: Thai basil or regular basil, diced chives or scallions,  lime wedges, lime zest, flaky sea salt, Sriracha sauce

In a soup pot, saute the onion and chili pepper 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, the the water and the bouillon cubes. 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. (Without shaking the can, take some of the coconut cream from the top of the can, leaving some of the water behind.) Carefully puree the soup in a food processor, blender or with an immersion blender. Return the soup to the pot and heat on low. Add one to two 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/or any of the other suggestions above. 

Bon Appetit!

xx~ Jilly 

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