Pea soup is very comforting, sweet and delicious and the taste, for me, takes me back to childhood. Made with marrowfat dried peas the it reminds me of tea times and mushy peas and especially with fish and chips. Being a Yorkshire lass originally, take away fish and chips were quite a regular meal during my childhood, always accompanied by mushy peas.
How are marrowfat peas different from garden peas? This is a question I needed to look up, since I wasn’t sure. It seems ordinary garden peas are picked when still young, small and sweet whereas marrowfat peas are left to mature on the plant.
They are grown and harvested especially for drying.
You do need to soak the peas overnight in plenty of water before using them. Dissolve some with bicarbonate of soda into boiling water. Some dried peas come with bicarbonate of soda tablets to add to the water. If this is the case, just follow the instructions on the packet.
Low Cost Soup
This a very economical soup. With the peas costing just over 50p, the whole soup costs less than £1 to serve 4 people. You can buy dried peas in bulk even cheaper.
The recipe uses a knob of butter to fry the vegetables in and this makes a good addition to the flavour. Butter and peas do rather go together! If you don’t have butter you can use margarine or sunflower oil. You can cook the peas with any green vegetables – it doesn’t have to be leek. In fact it is a great recipe for using up some leftover veg that is looking abot sorry for itself!
The soup only takes about 20 minutes to cook. You know the peas are throroughly cooked when little pieces of skin are floating on the top, like small jellyfish! Then just place in the liqudiser for a smooth soup.
A Pea Souper
Just as an aside, making pea soup made me think of the term a ‘pea souper’ to refer to the thick London smogs made of fog, pollution and soot. When you see the dense thick texture of the pe soup, you can understand the term! It was this smog in 1952 that led to legislation to help cut pollution. See the video below to see what it was really like.
Peas soup is certainly ideal for lunch on a foggy winters day
Pea Soup Recipe
- 250g / 8oz Dried marrowfat peas
- Boiling water for soaking
- 2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 2 medium leeks, sliced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- Place the marrowfat peas in a bowl
- Measure 1.5 litres boiling water
- Add 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda – or use tablets provided with pack
- Pour over peas and leave to soak overnight – at least 12 hours
- Rinse the peas thoroughly to prepare for use
- In a large saucepan, heat the butter
- Add the leek and saute for a few minutes
- Add the carrot and potato and sweat for a few minutes
- Add the peas and stock
- Bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft
- Season with salt and black pepper
- Place in a liquidiser until smooth
- Return to the saucepan to heat through
- Serve with crusty bread
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