Things are greening. As we speak, there's a film on my husband's car and my neighbor's magnolia is about to erupt and the lilac in the yard has buds on it and the farmers' market has more greens than I've seen in all of January and February combined. Well, almost.
It's still chilly enough at night that we need soup. Heck, we need soup all year round, so restorative is it. Here's a spring pea and potato soup that bridges the gap between the seasons, and borrows a bit of velvety sweetness from coconut milk. The last of my local winter potatoes gets put to good creamy use here, but the greatest irony? Peas are all over food magazines and blogs, but I can't always find locally grown peas around here. Maybe we are a little ahead of the game, but forgive us food writers for embracing the green. It's been a cold winter. And don't worry. Frozen peas are fantastic, I promise.
Spring Pea and Potato Soup
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 2 T. unsalted butter
- 2 cups Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 3 cups stock or water
- 1 12-ounce bag frozen peas
- 1 bunch chives, chopped
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup avocado
- Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a medium stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until they begin to soften, about five minutes.
Add the potatoes, coconut milk and stock (or water) and turn up the heat to medium-high. Bring to a boil, turn the heat down and cover. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are starting to become tender. Add the frozen peas all at once and let them defrost and soften in the soup. This should take about five minutes. Add most of the chives, reserving a couple of tablespoons for garnish (optional), and a good dose of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Transfer 1/2 to 2/3 of the soup into your blender—or all of it, if you want a completely pureed soup. I prefer to leave some palpable chunks in the soup for texture and contrast. Add the avocado for some more creaminess and puree until your heart's content. Return the pureed portion back to the unpureed portion in the soup pot and heat it briefly for a minute or two, stirring to combine. Taste again to adjust seasonings and serve immediately.