Twenty-Below Pea Soup
Hello from the frigid north! It’s officially hit zero degrees here pretty regularly, which means that I’m writing this while sitting inside underneath two blankets, hissing at the outside world. It’s too cold to do much of anything, so we’ve been doing as much as possible while inside. My long afternoon walk outdoors has been replaced with hitting the gym instead, at least until we get back up above ten degrees.
As for Moosie, we’ve been driving her up to a fenced-in park up the street to run around. I sit in the car with the heat on while The Boyfriend throws the ball for her. It’s the apex of laziness, but she doesn’t seem to mind. It’s better than being cooped up in the house all day. Besides, it’s become my special time, as we usually stop beforehand and grab a Chestnut Praline Latte from Starbucks. It’s one of the greatest joys in my life (#sadlifeproblems).
Since it’s been so cold and I am a human who does not do well in this weather, I’ve been trying to eat as much warm food as possible lately. Pretty regularly, I’ve been craving pea soup.
Now, I know that pea soup isn’t for everyone. For some people, the idea of blended veggies is just too much to handle. But trust me when I say that you should try it with an open mind. This recipe has been through many variations, and I’ve brought you my favorite thus far.
This version is warm, and peppery, and full of so many nutrients it’s not even funny. Plus, it has a soft texture and won’t feel heavy in your stomach, so you can easily go about your day without being bogged down. Since holiday foods can be so dense and rich, this is a good meal for those normal in-between days, where there are no cookie exchanges or dinners to attend. It’s also perfect for a crazy cold winter day (hence, the name).
Beyond that, pea soup is just ridiculously easy to make, and it comes in such large batches that it feeds me lunch and dinner for four days after making it (yes, it’s so good that I eat it twice a day). This means that you can make it on a Sunday night and it will get you through until Thursday, feeding you all week for only about half an hour of active prep time.
For this recipe, you can use canned, fresh, or thawed peas (if frozen). From my experience, the frozen peas will give you a thicker consistency, while the canned peas will make the soup a little more watery. The taste, however, stays pretty much the same either way.
Thus, here we have it: Twenty-Below Pea Soup
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic
2 Stalks Celery, Chopped
1/2 White Onion, Chopped
32 Ounces Peas (Thawed, if frozen)
48 Ounces Chicken Stock (I used unsalted)
Salt, To Taste
Pepper, To Taste
Thyme, To Taste
Cumin, To Taste
Add olive oil to soup pot and warm over medium heat. Add garlic, celery, and onion, stir to combine. Heat until soft, then add peas. I usually pause here to start seasoning, but you can wait until after the stock is in. Add chicken stock, then season with salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin.
Pause to taste test. Once satisfied, heat until bubbles form around edge of pot. Remove from heat and begin to blend in batches. If you like the soup thicker, then blend for less time. For a thinner soup, blend longer. Pause again here to taste test before pouring into a lidded container and placing leftovers in the fridge.
And just like that, you have a warm, comforting dinner for the rest of your week. This soup sits in the fridge for up to five days before expiring, but it can be frozen for up to three months (it microwaves very well).
The best piece of advice for this recipe that I can give is to be liberal with the olive oil, the garlic, and the spices. The measurements that I listed above provide enough flavor without overwhelming the tastebuds, but if you’re a garlic lover and you know that that’s something you want pronounced, then double it, triple it, quadruple it until you get the flavor you want. Same with the salt, pepper, and thyme.
If any of you have a recipe that never fails to keep you warm during the colder months, feel free to leave them in the comments below along with a link to your blog. I’m always curious how other people fight off the chill at this time of year, especially with food. Hopefully you get to spend this weekend putting your feet up by the fireplace and snuggling under a warm blanket.
Until next time, grab the hot cocoa and get yourself into the holiday spirit!