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Sweet Pea soup

  • Category: Soup, Vegetables
  • Submitted By: Isaac Owsley
  • Town/State: Sonora, CA
  • Serves: 10 – 12 as soup course
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Cooking time: 45 minutes

Delicious and very beautiful, this is not your mother’s split pea and bacon soup; it has a milder, sweeter flavor thanks to the use of frozen sweet peas and spinach. It can easily be made wholly vegetarian by substituting vegetable stock for the bacon – chicken stock used here. Served with the marinated tomatoes and sour cream garnish, this makes a gorgeous soup course for a fancy dinner party or for a light, yet satisfying family meal.

Ingredients for soup:

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4stripsbacon, diced
1cupyellow onion chopped fine
1tablespoonchopped garlic
2cupspotatoes, diced
16ozpackage frozen petite green peas
8ozpackage frozen chopped spinach
3tablespoonroux (equal parts oil and flour cooked briefly over medium heat)

Ingredients for marinated tomato garnish

2 tomatoes, very ripe, diced
2tablespoonbalsamic vinegar
2tablespoonbasil infused olive oil (steep 1 cup bruised basil leaves in 2 cups slightly warmed extra virgin olive oil for 2-3 days)
1/2teaspoongarlic powder
1tablespoongrated parmesan cheese
1/4teaspoonblack pepper
1/2teaspoondried basil

To prepare:

Combine the diced tomatoes, vinegar, infused oil, garlic powder, cheese, pepper and basil in a small bowl, mix well, cover and refrigerate (this step may be done 1 day ahead of time). Heat a heavy stock pot over moderate heat and add in the bacon pieces, stirring constantly until bacon starts to crisp.

Next, add in the onion and garlic and reduce heat to medium. Sauté just until the onions begin to turn translucent. (For vegetarian, omit the bacon and sauté onions and garlic in 1 tbsp oil) Add in the chicken breasts and cover with water, simmer gently 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked thru, remove the chicken and set aside to cool. Add the potatoes to the liquid and return to a simmer.

When potatoes are just tender, add in the chopped spinach and frozen peas. Simmer 5-10 minutes and then puree mixture with a hand blender until smooth. Thicken by stirring in the cooked roux and returning to a gentle boil. Shred the cooled chicken breasts and add back in to the soup (skip this step if using vegetable stock). Gently stir in the butter then serve piping hot. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a spoonful of the marinated tomatoes.

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