Nothing says spring produce like peas. They are like little bright green miracles- packed with protein, vitamin C, fiber and vitamin A. Such a simple food is easy to overlook, though. After all, who hasn’t has badly prepared peas? Maybe you remember those yucky gray-brown mushy kind from the can you got in the school cafeteria? Put your fears to rest. There is nothing mushy, gray or outdated in this soup.
You can find amazing fresh peas this time of year at most farmer’s markets. The fresh herbs in the recipe, thyme and tarragon, should also be in season, or available at your local grocer. Can’t find fresh peas? No worries, a one pound bag of frozen and thawed peas will also work. Culinary lavender is widely available, often with spices, teas or in natural food store bulk bins. Be sure you get culinary lavender, not potpourri – that might not be edible. If all else fails, you can find culinary lavender online pretty easily.
This recipe sounds fancy mostly because I was inspired to use a lot of traditional French flavors. My parents were recently in France for several weeks and their regular calls, describing the Provence landscape, the wineries of Burgundy and the bistros of Paris left me wishing that I been with them. Still, you can take the trip in your very own kitchen and bring the flavors of spring in France to your home. The soup sounds fancy, but it’s very easy to make! As written, this soup is vegan and gluten free. It will serve four as a main dish and can be served hot or cold, depending on the spring weather!
- 1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 Tbl. culinary lavender buds
- 2 leeks, trimmed, rinsed and cut into thin slices
- 1 Tbl. olive oil
- 4 cups veggie stock
- Salt, to taste (check sodium on your stock before you add more salt)
- white pepper, a pinch or to taste
- 1 pound fresh shelled peas (or use 1 pound frozen bag, thawed and drained)
- 1 Tbl. fresh tarragon, leaves stripped from stems
- 1 Tbl. fresh thyme, stripped from woody stems
- champagne vinegar, optional, to drizzle on top
- Add cashews to water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the lavender buds, cover and lower to a simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before adding to a high-power blender or food processor. Blend on high power for several minutes until smooth, silky and almost liquid. Set aside while you prepare soup, or chill if you plan to serve cold soup.
- Saute leeks in oil over medium heat in a soup pot until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add all stock and boil, season with salt and white pepper as desired. When stock boils, stir in fresh peas and cook until just bright green and soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer soup in batches to a food processor or high powered blender and puree to a smooth, creamy consistency. In the final blender/processor batch, add tarragon and fresh thyme.
- Serve soup hot with a splash of champagne vinegar and a bit of Cashew-Lavender Drizzle. To serve cold for a brunch or luncheon, chill soup and drizzle for several hours or overnight. As with hot soup, add drizzle to surface of chilled soup before serving. Other pretty garnishes for this soup include thyme sprigs, tarragon or pea shoots.
- Never prepared leeks before? It's really easy. Trim the root end and the long green parts away; add those to the compost. Slice the remaining white part into thin rounds and place in a deep bowl of cool water to rinse sand from the layers. Swish the sliced leeks around a few times, then allow sand and dirt to sink. Skim your sliced leeks from the top of the water after the dirt has settled and you're ready to go!
To visit the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl's website, click their byline. To read the rest of their posts on Sister Eden, click their tag at the top of the post.
Latest posts by the dirty hippie and the bohemian girl (see all)
- Verdant Springtime Soup with Cashew-Lavender Drizzle - March 20, 2017
- Mom’s Squash Casserole - July 7, 2016
- Colcannon with Fried Leeks - March 15, 2016