Because the season has started! If you ever tried sweet peas right from the plant, you know exactly what summer tastes like. And while peas should definitely be enjoyed on their own – fresh straight out of the pod and right into your mouth – they are usually consumed frozen (or canned). Which makes many people look at these products as being inferior. But inferior they are not. This may sound counterintuitive, but frozen peas may be even better than fresh, at least not second to them. Why is that?
Many perishable fruits and vegetables are picked in the fields and immediately flash-frozen at the height of their freshness right on the site. That means such products usually don’t have enough time to deteriorate before they are carefully conserved. In that state they may be transported to distant places without losing their quality. On the other hand, fresh peas in their pods immediately start converting their sugars into starch right after harvest. That’s why even those on the farmers’ markets can be less palatable compared to frozen ones.
However, if you have a small patch of ground with growing peas nearby, you should definitely be considering laying your hands on them asap. The great thing is that you can (and should) use them in their shells, while they are young and subtle. But if, for some reason, you prefer the seeds only, here’s the best you can do to them (after gobbling them right away) – a pea soup.
No worries, this isn’t going to be the winter hearty thick version. This soup is light and easy to digest, almost like a freshly-squeezed juice. Melt some butter in a pot over low heat and add one finely chopped onion. Cook until translucent, adding a pinch of salt along the way. Then add 1.5 cup of peas (you can easily go up to 2 cups or down to 1 cup), cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add some lemon zest and 2 cups of vegetable stock (if you don’t have one, try adding 2 cups of water together with a bouillon cube of your choice). Bring everything to a boil and take off the heat. Let it cool, blend everything in a food processor or in a blender, pass through the sieve for extra smoothness, then add some grated parmesan or pecorino and drizzle with a few dots of olive oil. Enjoy immediately.