Posted by: Andi Angel | October 4, 2013

Quick Easy Smoky Vegan Pea Soup


Something I’ve been finding lately about raw or very lightly cooked veg is that the flavor is milder and much more tolerable than cooked veg. The first time I realized this was when I added 3 or 4 cups of spinach to my first experimental Greens ‘n’ Grains Smoothie, and didn’t taste spinach nearly as much as I thought I should.

This soup is made with either frozen or fresh peas, and not with split peas, so the cooking time can be reduced almost to nothing (aside from how long you saute the onion and carrot). This seems to result in a milder flavor that may appeal even to folks who don’t typically care for pea soup, which is a huge bonus for those of you looking for something simple and quick that everyone will eat.

For a bonus on top of a bonus, peas are one of those fantastic rare foods that give you protein, fiber and greens all in one go. (Tonight we used it as a stand-alone meal. If I’d made the focaccia bread I was thinking about doing, I’d have served that along with the soup. What would you serve with it? Share some ideas below!)

Time frame: 15 to 30 minutes. If you’re a quick hand chopping the onion (or you have some already diced), and you saute the veg for only 4 or 5 minutes, and boil/simmer after adding the frozen peas for only 4 or 5 minutes before blending, you could whip this out from bare counters to food on the table in 15 minutes flat. If you give the veg a little time to caramelize (more like 15 minutes), and give the flavors more time to meld (another 15 minutes), you’ve still got something tasty and quick that will be easy to remember and hard to mess up.

Smoky Vegan Whole-Pea Soup

In a medium saucepan, 5 minutes on medium heat, saute:

2-3 Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 medium onion

2-4 Tbsp. grated carrot

Add:

1 1/2 cups water

3 cups fresh or frozen peas

2-4 drops liquid smoke

Salt and pepper to taste

Simmer 5-15 minutes.

Blend to desired consistency.

I only blend part of the soup (2/3 to 3/4), so that some of the peas are left whole. Sometimes I blend 1 or 2 cups of the peas with the water before adding them to the pot, so that I don’t have to deal with scalding soup in my blender.

Customize it:

Use vegetable broth instead of water, experiment with herbs or spices, or try roasting your veg instead of sauteing it (though this obviously lengthens your time commitment considerably). If you’re not vegan and you miss meaty flavors, and the smoke doesn’t quite fill that for you, you can use a chicken or beef broth in place of the water.

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