I'm in a leek phase. I'm obsessed with them right now. I roast chicken in a bed of them. I put them in ramen. I grill them. I sauté them. Roll them in prosciutto and bake them. You get the picture.

I recently bought some fresh English peas because, well... it's Spring and I hadn't had any fresh peas in a while. I had no plans for them other than eating them. Eventually. So, they sat in my refrigerator, almost forgotten. This seems to have nothing to do with leeks but stay with me, we'll get there.

I was cleaning and slicing leeks in preparation of roasting a chicken (see, I told you) and realized I had way too much chopped leeks for the job. I bagged them up and started putting them in the fridge when I noticed the peas that had been forgotten. Now, I used to hate pea soup as a kid but had it once a few years ago at Wolfgang Puck's and it was delicious. I figured I'd give it a try, so I decided to boil the peas and leeks in chicken stock and then blend them. I didn't have any cream so I put a pat of butter in the blender. This not-very-well-thought-out version wasn't quite there, but it had potential.

The next day I went out to get more peas and leeks. I refined the technique and adjusted the ingredients (the first try was pretty watery). Once I was happy with it I served it to my willing Guinea pig (aka my girlfriend). She said it was the best thing I've ever cooked for her. Glowing praise, to be sure. But, in light of all the complicated things I've served her in the past, requiring all day preparation and sometimes multiple-day brining, I was a little put out that this soup I made in 20 minutes from start to serving was the apex of my culinary achievement. Oh well, I guess I'll take it.

I've also made a vegan version of this using vegetable stock and vegan butter 'stuff' (but never margarine) which came so close in flavor that you'd almost have to be a super-taster to tell the difference. Fresh ingredients are always preferred but I think this one works very well with frozen peas. Part of the magic in this creaminess might very well be due to the NutriBullet I use to blend it. Everything I blend in that thing comes out smooth and fluffy, almost like a mousse.

It's a very simple recipe with only 4 ingredients but maybe that's what makes the taste shine through.

Enjoy.

Pea Soup with Leeks

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 15m
  • Total Time: 25m
  • Serves: 2

What's in it:

  • 2 c English peas
  • 1 leek stem (around 1.5 cups)
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:

  1. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the leeks and add a pinch of salt and a few twists on the pepper grinder. Stir as the leeks cook until they are soft and translucent. Before the leeks start to caramelize, add the stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer leeks for another 10 min. Add peas and bring to a slow simmer for 5 min.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 min. Pour contents into blender and blend until smooth. Return to sauce pan to reheat if needed before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste.