Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fresh Pea and Spinach Soup with Coconut Milk

This lovely green soup is very loosely adaptated from a recipe in Deborah Madison's Local Flavorsrecommended in response to a Facebook plea for interesting uses for the English peas my partner brought home from Trader Joe's. The prototype looked interesting but a little dull, and having already taken my friend's suggestion to substitute Thai curry paste for oh-so-pedestrian curry powder, I decided to just throw away the playbook (does this sound at all familiar?) and "fix" it. 

I didn't have any fresh cilantro on hand and decided to substitute dried basil, but a generous handful of either fresh herb (or even mint) wouldn't come amiss, especially if added late in the process, so I've included them in the ingredients list. You can either partially puree the finished product or blend it until completely smooth; I chose the latter approach, and although I served it hot,  I think it would also be nice cold or room temperature soup in the upcoming, swampy summer moths. 

Fresh Pea and Spinach Soup with Coconut Milk
~ 4 cups no chicken broth
~ 2-3 tsp. Thai red curry paste
~ 1 tbsp. coconut oil
~ 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
~ 1 large red onion, diced
~ 4 cloves garlic, minced
~ 1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
~ ¼ cup white basmati rice
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, basil, garam masala
~ 2 heaping cups fresh, shelled English peas
~ 1 lb. frozen spinach, thawed and undrained
~ 2 cups coconut milk
~ ¼ cup fresh lime juice
~ A good handful of chopped, fresh basil, cilantro, or mint (optional)

~ In a large beaker, mix the broth with the curry paste and heat nearly to boiling. Set aside.
~ In a large, deep pot, melt the coconut and toasted sesame oils over medium heat, and add the onions. 
~ Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes, and then add the garlic and ginger. Continue cooking for a minute or so, until fragrant.

~ Add the rice, salt, basil, and garam masala, and stir well to coat.
~ Pour in the broth/curry paste mixture, cover the pot, and bring just to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the rice is quite soft.
~ Return the soup to a boil, add the peas and thawed spinach, and cook another 5 minutes.
~ Remove from the heat, stir in the coconut milk, lime juice, and fresh herb if using. Puree with an immersion blender until smooth (you can add a little water at this juncture if it seems too thick).
~ Gently reheat the soup until hot but not boiling, and serve immediately with crusty bread.


  1. What a great looking soup.. kind of a fusion spin on mattar masala

  2. Thanks - if you make it, let me know how you like it!