Recipe: Roasted Spring Pea Soup

(Image credit: Sarah E Crowder)

Living in New York City, I’ve learned not to always trust spring. One day we’ll have balmy rosé weather, while the next will be so chilly that the only solution is something comforting and cozy — like soup.

This simple soup takes advantage of spring by using seasonal green peas and leeks, which are enhanced and brightened by fresh herbs. But roasting the peas adds a toasty and warm layer of flavor to the soup. Serve it with a dollop of crème fraîche and crusty bread for dunking and you have the ultimate cure for that cold spring day.

Roasted Spring Pea Soup

Serves 4

4 cups fresh peas, shelled (or frozen green peas)
4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 leeks, white and light green parts, halved and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1/3 cup dry white wine
5 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F. If using fresh peas, add to a pot of salted boiling water and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes until tender, and then drain.

Toss peas with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and spread in a single layer over a large baking sheet. Roast for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned.

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, tarragon, and thyme; season with salt and pepper; and cook 2 minutes more. Pour in the wine and cook until it’s almost completely reduced.

Stir in the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, stir in the peas, and cook for about 2 minutes.

Use a blender or food processor to purée the soup. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.