Sunday, April 7, 2024

Cream of Sweet Peas Soup

First came the bolt of lightning that struck Lady Liberty. Then came the deluge. And now the earthquake. How much pounding can a city withstand in 36 hours? I am wondering if the mighty She Goddess upstairs is trying to give us a hint. We don't appear to be her best piece of work.
On days like this, I feel as if there is not much to do but: a) watch Ponyo, b) go for a bike ride, or c) whip up a batch of cookies, grill a cheese sandwich, or make a bowl of any other food that lifts the spirits. This soup is a great example -- it checks all the feel-good boxes in my book of jolly foods. The gorgeous vibrant color of spring in the making. Check. The lovely touches of mint, lemon, feta, cumin, and white pepper that turn those humdrum peas into an entirely different vegetable (come on, don't tell me that you didn't think the same, but are afraid to articulate your pov because peas are the darlings of the internet). Check. The way the liquid coats the spoon (and the tongue) -- silky and velvety at the same time, with just about the perfect thickness. Check. The refreshing slap of coldness -- afterwards it's April, the blossoms are all around, and we've had enough of winter soups, goulashes, and concoctions alike. Check. It can be a smoothie, too, and you can take it to work, park, or gym. Check. But if you pour it into a bowl and decorate with colorful spring radishes, it will be the most enchanting thing on Earth. And you’ll end up looking like a top chef, while, shhh, it took only one step and three minutes to make it. This of course leaves you with enough time left to ride a bike or watch Ponyo.  

And that, my friends, is a dilemma.

p.s. Just in case you are on a lookout for more happy foods, here are several other dishes I like to cook when the world outside seem to be falling apart:

Cream of Sweet Peas Soup

1/2 pound frozen baby sweet peas, thawed
1 cup buttermilk (if you are using kefir you may have to dilute it with water to achieve the right thickness)
2.5 ounces feta cheese
12 large mint leaves (0.2oz), roughly chopped
one miniature garlic clove
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and freshly ground white pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust the flavors to your liking. Chill for and hour before serving.