Fresh Pea Soup

Published On: May 01 2012 01:29:20 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 22 2011 07:57:16 AM EDT

This soup, made with soy milk and frozen fresh peas, is quicker to prepare and fresher tasting than traditional pea soup made with dried split peas and seasoned with ham. The vegetable stock can be made from stock powders, cubes, or concentrates available in most supermarkets, or you can use canned chicken broth. Rather than being made creamy with cream and butter, the soup is thickened by puréeing the peas.

1 tbsp. canola oil2 ribs celery, finely chopped½ c. chopped onion½ tsp. minced garlic1 ½ c. vegetable stock or canned chicken brothOne 16-ounce bag frozen baby peas4 carrots, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices1 ½ c. plain soy milkDash of white pepper, or to tasteDash of nutmeg (preferably fresh-ground) or to taste (see Tip)Freshly grated Parmesan cheese and small sprigs of flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the celery and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic during the last minute.

Stir in the vegetable stock and peas. When the liquid begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium; cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the carrots into a small microwave-proof dish; add about 2 tablespoons water. Cover and microwave on high until tender, about 5 minutes; drain well. (Or cook the carrots in a stovetop steamer.)

Transfer the pea-stock mixture to a blender or food processor; add ½ cup of the soy milk and process until smooth.

Pour the puréed mixture into the pan; stir in the remaining 1 cup of soy milk, the cooked carrots, white pepper, and nutmeg. Stir gently over medium heat until the mixture is heated through, about 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Advance Preparation:

This soup will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Since it thickens while standing, stir in soy milk or vegetable stock as needed when reheating.