pea soup recipe

Loving Lovage

Lovage

Lovage is one of my favorite herbs. I feel like it doesn’t get enough attention. So many people have never even heard of lovage. It’s leaves taste just like celery leaves, so it is very useful in the kitchen. As an added bonus, it is very easy to grow- and it is a perennial.

I love celery in so many foods. I don’t think you can make a decent stock without it. I especially like using celery leaves. Problem is, often the celery I see in the store has few, if any, really nice leaves. The solution? Lovage.

Lovage leaves can be used in any dish you would use celery leaves: soups, stews, stocks and salads. The seeds can also be used as a substitute for celery seeds in recipes.

Lovage grows to a height of a couple of feet, except when it is in bloom. When blooming, lovage sends up stems that can reach 6 feet!

The stems of lovage are tough, almost woody. While they can’t be used chopped like celery, the stems are hollow and can be cut to size and used as straws in drinks like Bloody Marys or vegetable juices.

I’ve never seen lovage sold as a fresh herb. As far as I know, the only way you can enjoy this lovely plant is to grow it yourself. It thrives in sun, but will tolerate some shade. For a little effort you can have fresh “celery” leaves whenever you want. I also freeze plenty for use throughout the year.

Here is a favorite recipe of mine using lovage. Perfect for Spring.

Fresh Pea Soup with Lovage

2 T. butter or oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 c. fresh English peas, pea pods (sliced), or sugar snaps (sliced)
¼ –½ c. fresh lovage leaves, chopped fine
3 c. chicken stock or veggie stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. sour cream

Heat butter or oil in medium saucepan. Sauté onion until tender. Add peas, lovage, stock, and salt and pepper. Cook until peas are the desired tenderness, about 3 – 7 minutes. Puree soup in batches until smooth. Place sour cream in a small bowl. Ladle 1 cup of hot soup into the sour cream, and stir to smooth. Pour this mixture into the soup and cook, barely simmering, until soup is heated through, about 2 minutes. To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with lovage sprigs. Serves 3 – 4.

Note: You can also serve this soup cold.

Fresh Pea Soup with Lovage

Fresh Pea Soup with Lovage

Fresh Pea Soup with Lovage

Fresh Pea Soup with Lovage

This soup is great for summer because you can eat it hot or cold. It has a creamy texture but is still kind of light. The lovage adds a great green flavor. Lovage is a perennial herb that tastes like celery. The leaves add a nice element to this soup and pairs well with the peas. If you don’t have lovage, celery leaves could be used. I used fresh pea pods, but frozen would be OK, too.

 

Fresh Pea Soup with Lovage

2 T. butter or oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 c. fresh English peas, pea pods (sliced), or sugar snaps (sliced)
¼ –½ c. fresh lovage leaves, chopped fine
3 c. chicken stock or veggie stock
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. sour cream

Heat butter or oil in medium saucepan. Sauté onion until tender. Add peas, lovage, stock, and salt and pepper. Cook until peas are the desired tenderness, about 3 – 7 minutes. Puree soup in batches until smooth. Place sour cream in a small bowl. Ladle 1 cup of hot soup into the sour cream, and stir to smooth. Pour this mixture into the soup and cook, barely simmering, until soup is heated through, about 2 minutes. To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with lovage sprigs. Serves 3 – 4.

Note: You can also serve this soup cold.

Lovage

Lovage

Spiced Split Pea and Rice Soup

Spice Split Pea Soup with Rice

Spice Split Pea Soup with Rice

I made this soup the other night and a friend requested I share the recipe. I like it because the split peas are cooked until tender- but not cooked to mush. With the addition of spices like cinnamon and cardamom it has a wonderful flavor and is pretty quick to make. This is a vegetarian version, but feel free to use chicken stock, if you prefer.

Spiced Split Pea and Rice Soup

1 c. dried split peas, green or yellow

3 c. water

2 c. chopped onion

2 cloves minced garlic

2 bay leaves

1/2 t. each cumin, cinnamon and cardamom

1/4 t. cayenne, or more to taste

2 c. vegetable stock

2 t. lemon juice

1/2 c. cooked rice

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 c. chopped parsley or cilantro

Rinse peas and cook them in the water until tender, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the spices and cook 5-10 minutes longer, being careful not to burn them. Add this to the peas along with the rest of the ingredients and heat through. Adjust seasonings and serve. Serves 4.

Swedish Yellow Split Pea Soup

Swedish Yellow Split Pea Soup

Swedish Yellow Split Pea Soup

With the extra cold weather back again I can’t stop making soup. Everyone seems to simmering a pot of it. This is a great soup. Made with yellow split peas it in enhanced with the addition of smoky flavor from either smoked pork or turkey. It is not pureed as many other pea soups but rather served with the yellow peas cooked until tender but still intact. It is filling, rich and light at the same time. Great served alone or with a rye bread.  

Swedish Yellow Split Pea Soup

1 lb. yellow split peas, rinsed

2 qts. Boiling water

1 bay leaf

1 c. chopped onion

1 tsp. Dried marjoram

1/4 t. ginger

dash nutmeg

1/2 t. pepper

1 T. salt, or to taste

Ham shank bone plus 2 cups diced ham or 1 smoked turkey piece (drumstick, thigh, neck or wing) plus 2 cups diced turkey, optional

Note: you can use 1 teaspoon liquid smoke if omitting meat.

Combine peas, boiling water and bay leaf and simmer, covered, about an hour, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf. Add remaining ingredients, except diced meat and salt, and cook, covered, over low heat for about 1-1 1/2 hours. Peas and meat should be tender. Remove meat and cool, cutting any usable meat off the bone and returning to soup along with additional diced meat, if desired. Season to taste. Serve with a pumpernickel bread or Swedish Limpa bread. Freezes well. Serves 6-8.