(Note: this post was originally published on March 15, 2020. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)
A Soup for Spring?
"This soup is perfect for spring!" might be a weird thing to say, but it's true! This is definitely a springy soup. It's warm and creamy and cozy, but has a light, fresh flavor thanks to sugar snap peas and lemon. It's ideal for those evenings when it's still cold but you really wish it wasn't.
My idea for this soup came about after seeing some nice split pea soups online this winter. Split pea is good, but it's so wintry and hearty. I wanted to reinvent pea soup in a way that seemed right for this transitional season. My solution was to use sugar snap peas. Sugar snaps are the best! They're so vibrant and fresh, and have such beautiful color. I wanted to exploit that color here, in order to make a soup that reminds me of new growth and spring sunshine.
Creaminess from Plants
This soup gets its creaminess from cauliflower, which gives it a luscious texture. Cauliflower is also the perfect base because of its white color. In order to keep this soup bright green, I suggest using some unflavored nut milk in the base (instead of broth, which is yellow-brown) and cooking the onion until just soft but not caramelized. Keeping all the other ingredients white will let the snap peas' color really shine!
You'll see in the recipe below that you have some choices to make about your liquid. You can use any unflavored plant milk you love that can stand up to heat. I love soy milk because of its richness, although almond milk would work fine too. Coconut milk would really change the flavor, but would yield a lovely creaminess. Do what works for you, and feel free to adjust the milk/water ratio accordingly.
Let's Talk Ingredients
Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.
Cooking oil. I like to use olive oil in this recipe, it's perfect alongside the lemon.
Salt and pepper
Plant milk. Anything with a neutral flavor that can stand up to some heat will work fine; I prefer soy milk because of its richness. You'll see in the recipe that I suggest a mixture of milk and water, but you can do all milk if you prefer a richer soup.
Lemon. You'll use both the zest and the juice for extra lemony flavor! Save the juice to add at the very end to preserve its freshness.
Sugar snap peas
Garnishes. This is where all the fun is! Think about things like a drizzle of olive oil, fresh peas, fresh herbs, crunchy nuts or croutons, or even something out-of-the-box like coconut bacon or eggplant bacon.
Isn't this a fun one? I think it's perfect for March and April days when you're in the mood for a really springy meal, but the weather isn't coorperating and so you want something cozy too.
Let's be honest though... the best part of this soup is all the fun stuff you can pile on top of it! As with any soup, you can really have fun with the garnishes. I kept it pretty simple with a little drizzle of rich olive oil, some freshly ground pepper, a few raw peas, and some crunchy pistachios (since they're green!). But some croutons would be fun, or perhaps some salty feta, or a fresh springy herb like dill.
Regardless of how you choose to enjoy this bright green beauty, I hope it brings some sunshine to your day!
It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.
It's much more than just food. Together we'll explore seasonal ingredients and healthy recipes. But we'll also delve into health and wellness topics, self care tips, books, podcasts, and the natural world. This newsletter is all about leading a more colorful, plant-filled, holistic, and intentional life.
1 c unsweetened soy or other neutral-flavored plant milk
1-3 c water
Zest of a lemon
Large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
4 c sugar snap peas, with the ends trimmed
Juice of a lemon
Garnishes of choice
Dice up the onion and saute it in a large soup pot with your oil of choice. Cook the onion until tender and transparent, but not browned (otherwise, the color of the soup will be impacted). Salt and pepper generously.
Add in the plant milk, 1 c water, and lemon zest and bring everything to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Add the cauliflower and simmer 10-15 minutes until very soft. If needed, add some additional water to ensure the cauliflower is fully (but barely) submerged.
Add the sugar snap peas and simmer 1-2 minutes, until bright green. Don't cook them further or they'll become a duller color.
Transfer the soup to a high-power blender and blend until you have a very smooth, rich texture. You'll likely need to work in two or three batches. Note that an immersion blender will work too, but you won't have nearly as nice of a texture.
Return the soup to its pot and simmer for a couple more minutes, just to bring everything together. Add additional water as needed to thin the soup out to your preferred texture.
Just before serving, finish it with the juice of a lemon and another sprinkle of salt.