Don’t you just love peas?! I love them in just about any way. I even love shelling them; there is something so satisfying about it. Since we are entering English peas season, I thought it was time for me to share one of the recipes we used to make at the restaurant for the spring menu. It is simple but tasty and satisfying. Healthy, too! And if you remove the scallops, it is still tasty and satisfying, but vegetarian. Actually, given that no dairy is included, it can be vegan, too!
So head for the nearest farmers’ market and bring home a bag of fresh English peas, or two, or three, or… well the more, the yummier!
SPRING PEA SOUP WITH SEARED SCALLOPS
yields 5-6 portions
- 900 gr. (32 oz.) fresh peas
- 1 lt. (4 cups & 4 tablespoons) vegetable broth
- 1 stick celery – about 28 gr. (1 oz.)
- 1 medium carrot – about 70 gr. (2.4 oz.)
- 1 small onion – about 130 gr. (4.6 oz.)
- 42 baby scallops (about 7 per portion)
- extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- fresh chives for garnish
- fresh cream for garnish – or a little coconut milk if you are vegan
STEP 1 – Shell the peas as needed. Bring the vegetable broth to a simmer, then keep hot with the stove on low. In the meantime, chop the celery, carrot and onion (see image below).
STEP 2 – In a medium-large soup pot, heat 3 Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Add the celery, carrot & onion, season with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and stir. Cook on medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add the peas, and season again with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, then stir, cooking for another minute to let it all gather flavor. Now add the hot vegetable broth and stir again. Cook at a gentle boil, with the lid on but slightly opened on one side, for about 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of the peas) till the carrots and peas are tender.
Let the soup cool for about 10 minutes, then, using an immersion blender, blend until completely creamy and smooth.
STEP 3 – When you are almost ready to serve the soup, prepare the scallops. Pat the scallops dry with kitchen paper. In a large enough sauté pan, heat two Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. When sizzling hot, add the baby scallops and cool until nicely colored and seared. You can season with black pepper if you like, though I find that scallops do not need salt.
Scoop out the hot soup into bowls, top with about 7 baby scallops per portion, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and a little cream (or coconut milk) and decorate with chives. Enjoy!
You can, of course, make the soup ahead of time. Just let it cool completely, then place into a closed tub, or tubs, in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days, or even freeze it for up to 2-3 months. Reheat on the stovetop by bringing the soup gently to a simmer, but do not boil again. Then proceed with step 3. Please do not reheat or defrost the soup (or any food) in the microwave.
What is your favorite way of cooking and eating peas? Have you ever tried them in some unusual preparations? For some reason ice cream comes to mind, not that I have ever had pea ice cream. Have you?
I hope you have enjoyed the recipe. Feel free to share it with friends and family as you like.
Other delicious recipes perfect for spring you will enjoy: