Fresh green peas are a treat. They are crisp and sweet; tiny little flavor explosions in every bite.
The starch and fat give them a nice mouthfeel and make them delightfully palatable. From a culinary perspective, peas are also extremely versatile. They are delicious fresh, raw, cooked, mushy, in soup, in stew, and even in desserts (believe it or not). In my childhood, peas and I got off to a very rocky start, however, now they are indeed one of my favorite go to veggies. I have them several times a week with various meals and snacks because they are so versatile and delicious. In the spring one of my absolute favorite recipes is a nice green pea and mint soup.
Medicinally, peas are amazing and contain some very unique nutrients making them secret champions for your health. Sadly, peas are often maligned and avoided because they are assumed to be too high in starch. They do indeed contain a higher starch content than many other veggies but they most assuredly counteract any ill effects with their high fiber, high protein, and numerous phytonutrients.
In fact, peas have their own unique phytonutrients and are gaining huge interest in the health research arenas. They have awesome antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Research is demonstrating their awesomeness for regulating blood sugar and decreasing the potential for Type 2 Diabetes. There are also studies showing that eating just 1 cup of peas a couple times a week helps fight against various gastric cancers.
The other bonus of peas??? They are super helpful to the environment (obviously when grown appropriately). They help balance soil content, decrease erosion, and boost beneficial bacteria. The dwarf varieties also make great container plants, allowing you to have your own little patio harvest if you live in urban areas. I love peas!!
Seriously Delicious Spring Pea Soup
- 1 bag of frozen peas (or 4 c of fresh)
- ½ sm. onion
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ c. of milk (milk substitute works just fine)
- Broth (your desired thickness)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh mint
Sautee garlic and onion. When translucent pour in broth. Once heated add spinach and peas. Let simmer until soft and dark green. Use a hand mixer to blend soup until creamy consistency. Add milk and mint, continue to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Note: If you do not have a hand mixer, let cool and pour into regular mixer and reheat.
This is also a great raw recipe. When I make it raw I use ¼ of the onion, less garlic and I replace the broth with coconut milk. I also add an avocado for a creamy consistency. Blend it all in the vitamix and voila!