The summer season is finally here and I’ve been trying to fit as many u-pick dates as I can for the various fruits and vegetables that are available in our area. Our first picking took place at Rowe’s Produce Farm in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Like good ol’ city folk, we got up at sunrise and headed out to the fields to pick their strawberries as well as their peas. Picking peas is not so bad because they’re usually clustered together. Shelling them wasn’t bad either (better than shelling favas, that’s for sure).
Fresh peas are a real treat if you can get them. They have a firm flesh that is not as starchy as canned or frozen ones tend to be. They’re nice any way you prepare them – steamed, sautéed or boiled. For this salad, gently steam the peas until they’re just cooked and toss them with lettuce and top with a poached egg for an easy and delicious salad.
With the green shells, I made a quick soup by cooking them with some chicken broth, one small peeled potato (to add body to the soup), one garlic clove, some onion, and S&P until soft. I blended the whole thing and strained it through a sieve. You can add a little milk or cream to the mix before serving. Nothing to waste – rien ne se jete.
PEA SHELL SOUP
ADIEU EVERYDAY COOK
On Saturday, June 21, Pierre and I ate our last lunch at Everyday Cook in Kerrytown – downtown Ann Arbor – it was the restaurant’s final day before closing. It was a bittersweet time for us as we appreciate what they were doing there, providing fresh, inventive food from a daily changing menu featuring local ingredients. I ordered Chef Brendan’s Chicken & Chorizo Paella with Peas & Roasted Red Peppers and Pierre ordered the Pork Tenderloin with Quince Aioli & Orange Asparagus Salad. Both were great. I wish I knew how the quince aioli was made – it tasted divine. We also shared a St. James tart with none other than KitchenChick – who, incidentally, sat at the same table as us. We wish the chefs and the owners much luck and hope that they find another food venture that can excite people the way Everyday Cook did.
Check out these blog posts:
Picking strawberries and peas from Four Obsessions
Fresh peas two ways from KitchenChick
July 1, 2008 at '7:18'
This looks wonderful, as always. I tend to think that peas are best cooked simply, but then again I really like the flavor of peas. I also really liked your idea of making a soup from the pods, rather than letting them go to waste!
July 1, 2008 at '22:51'
I didn’t even know that the pods can be used for any other purpose. I thought after they have been divested they have fulfilled their role. 😉
Thanks for the tip. I find myself liking peas more and more, even braising them with lettuce, like recently.
July 3, 2008 at '5:29'
I never thought you could use the pods for anything. How smart!
July 3, 2008 at '15:14'
I just harvested a load of peas from my garden–I’m going to give the pod soup a try! Were they sugar snap peas or English peas that you used? I think most of the ones from my garden are sugar snap, but I’m curious if you’ve made the soup with the English pods too.
July 4, 2008 at '6:12'
That salad looks great for summer, especially with the egg!
July 4, 2008 at '8:54'
The first picture is just beautiful and brilliant! It looks like a flower!
I just love sugar snap peas too . The pea shell soup looks just awesome too. I would never think about just using the shell.
So sad they are closing their doors. Why?
July 9, 2008 at '19:17'
Can’t believe you are blogging this recipe. We just got a cookbook, from Lenny’s cousin in the Azores and the first recipe he turned to was this brilliant pea salad w/egg – he was drooling all over it and is now drooling all over you. What a great idea with the pea shells, I will be trying this out!
July 14, 2008 at '12:34'
Those peas are soooo beautiful. I was never a pea fan until I ate them fresh 🙂 I am also annoyed that I didn’t see this post for what – two weeks?! I’m wondering if my google feed is messed up or maybe it posted when I was feeling crappy – who knows! Bummed about the restaurant closing. Turnover is high in that industry, but you always want the good ones to stay open 😦
July 14, 2008 at '21:58'
We were at Rowe’s on Father’s Day, and I’ll note that two small boys can do much more efficient pea-picking than they can do strawberry picking.
I love the pea shell soup idea! That looks great.
Our pea recipe for the year was with fresh ricotta (there was a NY Times recipe) which turned out great on top of baby shells – next time it will get a little mint too.
July 28, 2008 at '20:49'
The pod soup is a winner and has become a really special treat for a lot of the poorer communities in Cape Town who usually throw this away!
I made it as a starter for a family meal, by the way – delicious!
August 2, 2008 at '9:06'
What beautiful ideas using peas as an ingredient! Both are so well suited for the seasons too: I think you’ve just given me inspiration to make the pea shell soup for a chilly day and pea salad for a summery day!
September 3, 2008 at '9:25'
I stumbled on to this blog by googling “Bitter Melon”. I was explaining it to someone in a community on LiveJournal, and wanted to show a picture. I found some pictures, but I also found your recipe for that soup – it sounds amazing! If I lived in an area where I could still find FRESH Asian produce, I’d definitely be trying it.
I already love your pictures and reading your snippets about food, restaurants, etc. I’m bookmarking this! You’re an inspiration to a culinary graduate that is losing the love for cooking because people suck. 😦
September 11, 2008 at '11:27'
I hope everything is ok 🙂 I miss the weekly salads!
September 25, 2008 at '19:57'
we are missing you out here! hope you come back soon!
October 4, 2008 at '23:01'
looks like you are missing in action… Just dropped by for inspiration. We are having a Thai birthday party for Janet’s 50th! Wish you could be here! We may try and repeat your spring rolls. We’ll see. Get in touch.
October 10, 2008 at '19:49'
Hello, just wanted to drop a note saying that I miss you too. Hope you are well.
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November 8, 2008 at '11:03'
Where are you? Are you missing in action doing something spectacular???
Udate soon please!!
December 15, 2008 at '10:40'
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September 2, 2009 at '12:04'
A friend linked your Ca Kho To recipe to your site, and I am thrilled. I haven’t been able to replicate mom’s cooking (as she does not measure). So excited to try Viet cooking at our house now. I don’t know if you’re still blogging, but I hope you’ll start again. In the meantime, I’ll go through the different recipes. Thanks again.
September 4, 2009 at '6:55'
It’s been so long since you’ve posted! I randomly wandered onto here today. I hope all is well. I miss your blog!
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February 9, 2010 at '14:47'
I LOVE fresh peas! We used to grow many acres of them on our farm. Love the idea of the egg and salad with them! beautiful photos!
July 19, 2010 at '13:27'
Just stumbled in on your website. Fantastic ideas. Hope to get regular info. As a certain State Governor used to say “ILL BE BACK!!!”
March 30, 2012 at '23:16'
Hi Christine! I came here from Bam’s Kitchen. You make beautiful food! I need to come here more often from now on! Nice to meet you. 🙂