Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Give Peas a Chance!

Peas are a member of the legume family and are one of the earliest cultivated crops. Growing peas actually returns nitrogen to the soil without the need for added fertilizer, making them a very beneficial crop. Peas are believed to be native to central Asia and the Middle East. Originally, peas were cultivated to be used in dried form, providing nourishment when other sources of food was scarce. It wasn't until the 17th century when the consumption of fresh green peas became fashionable and more readily available.  

Peas are often overlooked as a substantial health food, but they are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B, zinc, and omega-3! Research shows that peas lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, lowers the risk of cardiovascular problems, and has even been shown to protect again gastric cancer! Wow! In order to reap these benefits, it is recommended to consume 3 cups per week.

Nothing says Spring to me like fresh green peas, just hitting the market! One of my favorite recipes is for "Spring Pea Soup!" This soup is so easy and amazingly delicious! Even my husband, who says he despises peas, goes wild for this soup! I like to serve this soup simply in little "shotglasses" for an amuse-bouche, in little tea cups for a chic first course, and even as the main event dressed up with a dollop of sour cream, homemade croutons, crispy pancetta, and a drizzle of olive oil! This lovely green soup is the perfect accompaniment to any festive meal, and will definitely be gracing my Easter table this year! Bonus: You can even make it ahead!

(As amuse-bouche! So cute! It may not look like much...until you taste it!)

Spring Pea Soup

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
1 bunch scallions, trimmed, and coarsely chopped
1 nice handful fresh mint leaves
1 pound fresh peas (if available) or frozen peas (So you can make it year-round!)
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a medium to large pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the scallions and mint, and gently fry until the scallions are soft, about 3 minutes. Raise the heat to medium and add the fresh or frozen (no need to thaw) peas and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Stir in the cream, reduce heat to a simmer, and simmer for 15 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor (be careful if it's hot!), or use an immersion blender (see Gadgets). Strain the soup through a food strainer to remove the pea skins. (This gives it a luxurious velvety texture!) Return to a clean pot, add salt and pepper, to taste. Gently reheat before serving.


2 comments:

  1. This soup is sooo good! It looks great, is super healthy, and tastes amazing! ★★★★★!

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    1. I'm so glad you liked it! Thanks for visiting my site!

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