Peas are one of the few vegetables that I loved as a kid. Now as a grown up I still eat them quite a lot and mix them into various dishes. My favourite way of eating them always was and still is pea soup. Even though pea season is still a little bit ahead here in England it is my favourite dish this time of the year, simply due to its colour. This quick and easy pea soup with basil pesto combines everything that I associate with spring. It is light, fragrant and of a cheerful light green hue.
You can, of course, make this soup with fresh peas and shell them yourself but when they are not in season frozen peas are just as great. Apart from being ready to use there is also one big bonus that should be mentioned. When cooking with frozen vegetables you create no food waste since they do not go bad when you forget them for a few days since they last for weeks in the freezer. This is especially great when you are trying to gradually add more vegetables to your diet or cook for not more than two people.
When it comes to the onions there is, of course, the option to use regular onion but that will need a longer cooking time which is one of the reasons why I chose spring onions. The other reasons are their taste and easier preparation. Just chop them roughly – no tears involved.
I love to serve this soup with pesto since it adds a nice touch to it, the freshness of the basil works wonderfully with the sweetness of the peas. If you make the pesto while the vegetables are simmering away for a few minutes then you can literally dish up this delicious meal in less than 15 minutes. It is a great starter but I usually eat it as main since despite it being a soup this is very filling due to the fiber content of the peas.
- 40g (1/3 cup) cashews*
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 4 spring onions
- 1 tbsp light olive oil
- 450g (3 cups) frozen peas
- 500 ml (2 cups) vegetable stock**
- ¼ tsp pepper
- ¼ tsp salt (or more depending on the broth)
- for the pesto: (you can use ready made pesto if you want)
- 3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tbsp cashews
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp nutritional yeast
- ¼ clove of garlic
- Roughly chop the spring onions and garlic. Add them with the cashews and 1 tbsp olive oil to a saucepan. Gently saute everything at medium heat for about 5 minutes until the onions and garlic have softened.
- Add the peas, vegetable stock, salt and pepper, turn up the heat to maximum and let it come to a boil. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes until the peas are done.
- Meanwhile, blend up the ingredients for the pesto or process them by hand with a pestle or mortar. You can, of course, skip the pesto or use already made one but I highly recommend you try it this way.
- Once the peas are tender blend your soup until creamy. If it is too thick add a little bit more vegetable stock.
- Serve the soup garnished with 1 tsp of fresh pesto per plate. You can also add some thinly sliced spring onion greens or a basil leaf. This soup makes a great starter for four people or a main for two.
** Depending on how thick you like your soups you might need a little bit more vegetable stock so make more if you are unsure.