Today marked the opening of my first exhibit at my new job–Splendid Treasures of the Turkomen Tribes from Central Asia. It has been exciting to work on this show, to delve into a crash course on Turkmen (as they are known today) people, clothing, carpets, and jewelry. And I have to admit, it’s nice to see an “Associate Curator” credit at the entrance with my name next to it.
Unfortunately, a few hours before the opening, a snow storm hit Knoxville. And while 2 or three inches of snow is nothing in Chicago, in a hilly town like Knoxville with snow plows few and far between, it means a complete and utter meltdown. Only four guests showed at the opening, so we had a lot of Turkmen food to get through. And while it was delicious, it’s quite pastry and meat heavy, so once I finally walked through the slush and back home, something hot and lighter was in order. All I had in the fridge were some leftover green onions, and some frozen veggies. Fortunately, this soup came to the rescue. This recipe is an old standby–you can make it when you literally have nothing in your home, and it is comforting and fresh at the same time. While “pea soup” doesn’t sound too promising perhaps, I promise this is great, and it comes together in 15 minutes or less.
Pea and Mint Soup
- 1 large bunch of green onion + 1/2 a yellow onion OR 1 large yellow onion
- 1 Tb. olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp. dried mint
- 1 tsp. dried dill
- 16 oz. bag of frozen organic peas
- bouillon cube (enough for making 2 C. stock) and water OR veggie stock
- fresh ground pepper
- zest of 1 lemon
- juice of half a lemon
- goat cheese or Greek yogurt to garnish (optional)
Saute the onion in the olive oil over medium until it starts to wilt and/or turn translucent. Add the dried herbs and saute for another minute or so. Stir in the frozen peas, breaking them up. Barely cover the peas with water and add the bouillon cube, or simply cover the peas with stock and don’t add the bouillon. Bring the mixture to a simmer and add some fresh ground pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes or so until the peas are tender. Remove from the head and add the lemon zest and juice. Puree with a stick blender or in a food processor till smooth. Serve immediately, and serve hot, with an optional dollop of Greek yogurt or some crumbles of goat cheese.