Monday, December 9, 2013

My Cooking Attempts: Abuela's Creamy Pea Soup

I often get lost in the multitude of recipes found in cookbooks or Pinterest. I want to cook everything & try every recipe out there. I'm always challenging myself & trying new recipes, cooking methods, or ingredients.  & then, when I don't know what to make for dinner or am short on time, I always go back to my old favorites. Those recipes my mom or Abuela taught me. The recipes I make without measuring. The recipes I make when I don't want to think too much. The recipes I know will always turn out delicious. This is one of those recipes.
This creamy pea soup is a dinner staple in my Abuela's house. Although I grew up eating this soup I wasn't too interested in making it until I got married. In an effort to impress my husband, who's mom is a notoriously good cook, I asked my Abuela how to make her famous creamy pea soup. This is how our conversation went:
              Abuela: "You will need butter, green onion, frozen peas, tomato
                             sauce, & half & half."
              Me: "How much do I need?"
              Abuela: "I don't know. How much do you want to make?"
              Me: "Enough for David & I."
              Abuela: "Well then enough ingredients for two servings."
I was seriously lost, I had no idea what to do or where to start. I'd never made anything, besides a salad, without measuring. But that's how she cooks, with her senses, by tasting & smelling food. My abuela rarely measures ingredients. *Which is also why she a HORRIBLE baker. Just don't tell her I told you that!*
So I went for it & winged it. I bought the ingredients & used my senses to cook up a wonderful pot of creamy pea soup. Thankfully it was a success! That could have gone in a completely different direction.
Since then I've adapted the recipe to my liking, just don't tell my abuela! Although I've never measured the ingredients, this past weekend I took the time to measure out everything in order to share the recipe with you. I hope you enjoy!

Creamy Pea Soup
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 bunch of green onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 can (8 ounce) tomato sauce
1 lb of frozen or fresh peas
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 cup half & half
1 tsp ground nutmeg
Salt & pepper to taste

Boil water. When the water is boiling add the fresh or frozen peas. Bring back to a boil, cook 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Drain water and transfer the peas to your blender. Add chicken stock to blender. (As an alternative you can use the water you cook the peas in.) Blend until smooth.

Meanwhile melt the butter in a soup pot, over medium heat. Add chopped green onion & garlic. Saute 2-3 minutes.

Add the can of tomato sauce and cook out the tin flavor, 4-5 minutes.

Add pureed peas. Follow with half & half.

Season to with nutmeg & salt and pepper. Serve with crusty, buttered bread.

Want to know the best part? Not only is it yummy, comforting, & delicious, it's also easy & inexpensive. The perfect combination!

Note: This recipe is wonderfully versatile. You can sub out the peas for almost any vegetable. I've made this exact recipe with carrots, corn, and broccoli. No matter the vegetable, the soup always turns out deliciously creamy & smooth. You can also add more or less half and half, depending on how creamy you prefer your soup. Bon appetit!

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