Friday, February 22, 2013

French Fridays with Dorie - Cheating-on-Winter Pea Soup


Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is a colorful Cheating-on-Winter Pea Soup. You "cheat" on winter when preparing this soup because you use frozen, not fresh peas for this velvety, spring colored soup.




Frozen peas are available year round, fresh garden peas, however,  are in season only from early June until late July. “Petits pois” or “Small Garden Peas” are young garden peas that are picked and shelled when small, young and tender, and can be found in stores year round as frozen peas, therefore, I believe there are the best choice for this soup which calls for one pound of frozen peas in addition to an onion (I used spring onions), a few cups of stock (I used home made vegetable stock), and one medium head of romaine lettuce (I used a head of wonderfully tender butterhead lettuce instead).

This soup is prepared much the same way any cream of vegetable soup is prepared – all you are required to do is sauté the onion, add the broth, stir in the peas and lettuce leaves, simmer away, purée, garnish with some crème fraîche and serve. Voilà. It is that easy and delightful and delicious. The small peas are easy to purée and there was no need to push the soup through the strainer before serving.

In my never ending quest to find local manufacturers and producers, I finally found a regional artisan flour mill. So on my first visit there on Wednesday, I bought four different kinds of flour and could not wait to use some of the "extra strong bread flour"  and bake a bread to accompany this wonderful soup. If you serve warm bread with this Pea Soup, you will have a nice winter lunch or dinner. In summer, you could also serve this Pea Soup cold, with or without a side salad.




Recipe for Cheese Bread with Garlic and Thyme

Ingredients for the Bread

  • 500 grams strong white bread flour (I used bread flour from a regional artisan flour mill)
  • 7 grams yeast
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt (I used French sea salt)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (I used organic extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (I used Grade "A" maple syrup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed lightly with the flat of a knife and the heel of your hand
  • 25 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 200 grams Comté cheese, grated (you could also use a different cheese)
  • a few fresh thyme leaves




Preparation of the Bread

  1. Measure the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Mix 300 ml hand-hot water with the oil and maple syrup in a small bowl, then pour into the dry mix, stirring all the time to make a soft dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, then knead for a good five minutes until the dough no longer feels sticky, sprinkling with a little more flour as you need it.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm place until the dough has doubled in volume (about an hour and thirty minutes).
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough and fit it onto a baking sheet. Dimple the dough with your fingers.
  6. In a small bowl, mix the crushed garlic with the butter, then dot over the dough. Sprinkle over the cheese and snip over the thyme.
  7. Cover the bread with lightly oiled plastic wrap, then leave in a warm place to rise for about forty minutes.
  8. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  9. Remove the plastic warp, then bake the bread for about thirty minutes or until golden and risen.
  10. Leave to cool for ten minutes, then cut or tear into pieces and serve with the Pea Soup or any other soup or salad.




Overall, this is a lovely, simple soup, perfect for winter as well as summer. I love to use ingredients that I always have on hand and make something new and delicious with them, such as this Cheating-on-Winter Pea Soup. If you would like to have an even silkier texture, than you should strain the soup through a fine mesh sieve. I can imagine that while frozen peas are wonderful in this recipe, using fresh peas in summer will be divine – but, of course, you would have to change the name of the soup to “Simply Divine Summer Fresh Pea Soup”.

To see how the other Doristas prepared this Cheating-on-Winter Pea Soup, please click here.





31 comments:

  1. Andrea - your soup and bread look divine - spring or not!

    I like the idea of the maple syrup in the cheese bread.

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    1. Thanks, Cher, at this time of year all the signs of spring are welcome - even if they come in the shape of pale green colored pea soup.

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  2. What a beautiful soup, Andrea. I like how you garnished it with some whole peas. Your bread looks wonderful, sort of like a foccacia. I hope to try it myself soon. Have a great weekend!

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    1. Betsy, whole peas do make a nice garnish, they seem to liven up the soup a bit.

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  3. Your soup looks lovely and delicious. I can't wait to try your bread recipe - it sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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    1. Geraldine, I had no time to convert the recipe yet but let me know if you need conversions. The recipe is easy and delicious and the kids devoured the warm bread together with the soup.

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  4. Oh, Andrea, your bread looks fabulous. Just reading the ingredients in the bread makes me drool. You're right. This homemade soup begged for homemade bread. Although I enjoyed the corn bread I made, yours looks delicious. I bet your bread makes great toast also. I admire you so very much for searching out local manufacturers and producers. It's what we all should be doing but I know it takes extra effort and time. Most of the other Doristas, like you, did not strain their soup. I wish and I hadn't. When I make it again, I want to make a thicker soup. I still am enjoying your girls' Valentines. Although I am packing everything and my house is filled with boxes, their art work and Valentines are still sitting proudly on my mantle piece for me to enjoy.

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    1. Mary, thanks so much for taking the time to comment - so very glad that you liked your Valentines - makes the girls rather proud! Your wonderful cards are still gracing our living room wall - loved them, thanks again!

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  5. Andrea your bread and your soup look wonderful! Great idea to add some whole peas!

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    1. Thank you, Guyla, I really liked the wonderful oat/flaxseed bread that you baked to accompany your wonderful pea soup.

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  6. Such beautiful bread, Andrea!! It is such a wonderful accompaniment to your soup! Your presentation is just so lovely!! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

    I’m envious of your trip to the regional artisan flour mill…sounds like a wonderful field trip!!

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    1. Kathy, thank you, no pictures yet of the flour mill, it was raining and the skies were darkish but I will certainly go back, take pictures and put together a post soon I hope.

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  7. Who wouldn't want to sit down to that lunch?! How very lovely, Andrea. Your soup and your bread looks like a perfect combination. How great that you found a regional flour mill. I know that you will have fun using the flour. I hope you have a lovely weekend!

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    1. Thanks, Elaine, isn´t warm homemade bread and soup a wonderful combination for a late winter lunch?!

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  8. That bread is gorgeous Andrea, so perfect not only with this pea soup but also for a great grilled sandwich! I like your presentation and the idea of adding whole peas. I use strong bread flour (or bread flour with extra gluten) to make bagels. Have a wonderful weekend my friend!

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    1. Paula, this flour is wonderful to work with and the bread is so easy to put together, glad I tried out this recipe and I think it will be making this again for our next pasta dinner.

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  9. This meal looks terrific, Andrea! I'm particularly enamored of the bread - that must have been a terrific accompaniment to this soup. Wonderful!

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    1. Sara, thank you so much - the bread was nice ans easy and it turned out to be a good side to the pea soup.

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  10. The creme fraische looks likes it is swimming in your soup! I am in a car service waiting room as I read this and someone just toasted some bread in the kitchenette as I was reading about yours here. It was somewhat surreal.

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    1. Trevor, the crème fraîche does not really sink on these unstrained cream of vegetable soups - makes for a nice presentation too.

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    1. Mary, thanks so much - this is a nice recipe for a classic pea soup that the whole family could agree on.

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  12. Both your soup and your bread look delicious. Good idea to add some whole peas to the soup to give it a little texture.

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    1. Rose, the whole peas in the soup made the presentation a bit prettier.

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  13. The soup looks wonderful and your bread has some beautiful layers. I am, of course fascinated by your locally sourced flours and can't wait to see what else you make. I have yet to make the soup. We had a crazy busy week last week, but maybe later this week or next. I sense another three in one ffwd post in my future.

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    1. Thank you - I know that you are quite the bread baker and I am always intrigued by the different loaves that you bake. If you are planning on making this soup, you should know that the preparation takes no time at all and the ingredient list is rather short, that´s what makes this a "quick lunch/dinner" recipe.

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  14. Your cheese bread looks perfect for winter soup/stew season! I like that you added garlic and thyme too to boost extra flavor. Now you got me curious about this soup using "frozen" peas. I'll check it out!

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    1. Nami, this bread recipe is delightful and the frozen pea soup is not bad at all, particularly considering the fact that fresh peas have such a short seson.

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  15. Love that you searched for a regional flour mill - how fabulous !! And that bread, well of course it looks amazing :) I mentioned on another blog that I just found my bread cloche this week and wondered why I had not used it in years. (Atkins, that's why :) And your soup looks fantastic as well- I adore the little "polka dots". An already happy looking soup looked even more fresh with this presentation. My own expectations were pretty low since I am not a fan of peas. I liked this but will go for a thicker version next time. Dorie definitely inspired me to play around with more soups as this was truly easy and tough for me to rationalize not having time to try. Apologize for the late comment- I had too much fun running around seeing the Barefoot Contessa and cooking and ended up with a miserable cold (but it was worth it).

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    1. Tricia, thank you so very much for the wonderful comment - soup just screams out for some bread I think and this recipe just seemd to be what I was looking for when I made the soup, it has garlic and thyme in the recipe and that stands up so nicely to the creamy pea soup. Hope you are feeling much better!

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  16. Your bread looks like the perfect accompaniment for your soup and everything's so gorgeously presented. We have some local artisan flour producers, here, too. It's wonderful how there are so many little cottage industries springing up, making things that are so OF the place they are produced.

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