Ultimate Pea Soup

Our peas are ripe – and we have been picking them for a few days now.  We ended up with over 60 quarts of canned peas, and we gave a lot away to friends. 

This is of course the perfect time to make fresh pea soup (which is distinctly different from canned or dried pea soup).  The soup is surprisingly tasty and rather filling.

Here is our favorite recipe for fresh pea soup:

· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 1/2 cup finely sliced spring onions (or Vidalia onion)
· 1 clove garlic, chopped fine (not crushed)
· 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon (or use chicken broth instead of water for cooking)
· 1 pound shelled peas
· 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
· 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste: depends on the chicken stock)
· 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of pepper (to taste)
· 1/4 cup half and half 

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add the onions and garlic.  Sauté over medium heat, until onions are glossy, then add 3 1/2 cups of water and the chicken bouillon (or chicken broth).  Bring to boil, then let simmer for about 30 minutes. (this is about how long it takes to shell one pound of peas)

Add peas, tarragon, salt and pepper and bring back to boil. Turn down heat and simmer until peas are tender (this will depend on how ripe your peas are, anywhere from 10 – 20+ minutes). 

Remove from heat and let cool a bit – then purée with an immersion blender, or put it into a  conventional blender in small batches.  You want this soup to be very, very smooth. 

Stir in half and half , salt and pepper to taste.  We like to eat it hot, but you can also serve it chilled!