My CSA has been giving us a bag of shelling peas each week--a lot of work, but yummy!
I wanted to try to find a use for pea shells, so I decided to try this recipe that uses the pea shells to make a broth for pea soup. Well, I started with that recipe, and then took out all the "fancy" and made it "homey".
I'm also going to try my hand at making this recipe universal for any starting quantity of peas. I hate when recipes call for x amount of something and I get either more or less in my CSA share. So this is all approximate quantities--use what ya got!
Whole peas in pods, washed well
A few sprigs fresh thyme
Shell the peas, reserving the shells in a separate bowl. Remove any very dirty/icky parts of the shells.
Place the pea shells in a large pot. Add water to cover the shells. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 or so minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove and discard the pea shells.
Continue simmering for about 20-30 minutes, until the broth has reduced by half.
Meanwhile, slice an onion and saute in butter until browned and softened. I used one small onion--I started with about one pound of shelling peas and it ultimately made 2 bowls of soup. If you like onion, use a lot. If you're not a huge onion fan, just use half a small onion.
After the pea shell broth has reduced, add the peas, sauteed onions, and the leaves off a few sprigs of thyme. Let simmer for about 5 minutes, until the peas have cooked.
Remove from the heat and hit it with a stick blender (or put it in a regular blender). Be careful here--let the soup cool a bit so it doesn't splash and hurt you. Also, if your soup is too low in the pot and the stick blender is splashing a lot, either transfer it to a smaller pot or add some vegetable stock until the liquid level is high enough for the stick blender.
Blend until chunky. You don't need to get it totally smooth.
Stir in one tablespoon heavy cream and one tablespoon sour cream. Taste, and add more cream and sour cream if you'd like. I found one tablespoon of each was perfect for my 2 servings of soup. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve warm or cold. Yum!
Part of why I've been lax about posting recipes here is that I got a job writing for a local Patch site. Every week I post a recipe, often featuring local ingredients. How lucky am I--to have a job writing, cooking, and sharing my love of eating locally? Feel free to visit me and say hi! I have a new recipe published each Tuesday morning.