Friday, April 29, 2011

Spring Dinner: Fresh Pea Soup

In case I haven’t mentioned this before, I love Spring. I love sundresses, sandals, and the heat on my shoulders when I go for a run. I love grazing at the farmer’s market, scooping up fresh peas, asparagus, and mint. I love the tulips, daffodils, and lilacs thriving in my backyard. Springtime is part of the reason I knew I belonged in California. For all that talk about how California doesn’t have seasons, we have longest, most beautiful Spring. In snowy climates, there is a desperation that accompanies spring. When if finally becomes warm in late April or early May, it is at the last possible moment, the moment when you just can’t take it anymore. I’ve never been one for such a masochistic relationship.

Spring in California is lush, and continually building; every week something new is in bloom, flowering pear and cherry trees, lilacs, hyacinth, poppies, and snapdragons. The trees go from bare to bursting seemingly overnight. The food of Spring embodies this optimistic renaissance. Everything is green, new, and super fresh. Easter Sunday seemed like the perfect occasion to feast on these Spring treats.

Fresh Pea Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups fresh or frozen peas
1 tablespoon fresh mint, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Sauté the onion until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and peas. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the mint. Blend with an immersion blender until mostly smooth. Taste for salt and pepper. Top with toasted breadcrumbs and serve immediately!

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