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Pea and Spinach Soup with Coconut Milk



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~ Auguste Escoffier

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Pea and Spinach Soup with Coconut Milk

Local Flavors:
Cooking and Eating from
America's Farmers' Markets

© 2002 by Deborah Madison, Broadway Book,
a division of Random House


“Everyone is rich with peas. Sugar snaps, snow peas, and pod peas are
abundant. Some farmers have heaped their peas into bushel baskets;
other arrange them neatly in plastic berry containers. Their skins are
smooth and unmarred. Occasionally there’s a tendril, a stem, or a flower,
but what we [in Santa Fe] don’t have are the pea greens, which are so
often available at other markets, particularly where Laotian, Chinese,
and other Asians shop – like the Civic Center market in San Francisco.
At our ‘Shop with the Chef’ demonstration, Lynn Walters simmers sugar
snap peas for about 2 minutes in a little water, drains them, and tosses
with butter and chopped mint. They’re unbelievably good, and the
children love them.”

Serves 6

“Peas are as good with cilantro and coconut milk as they are with the
more predictable mint and basil. If you haven’t explored this direction,
do! Serve this soup unblended, or just blend a cup or so and stir it back
into the pot to provide some background texture and color.”

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons white basmati rice
2 cups thinly sliced sweet onions
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons curry powder [can use
purchased curry powder]
4 cilantro sprigs, plus extra for garnish
1 1/2 to 2 pounds pod peas
4 cups spinach leaves
1 quart vegetable stock or water
3/4 cup coconut milk

1. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat and add the rice,
onions, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the curry powder, 4 cilantro sprigs, and
1 cup water. Simmer over medium-low heat for 12 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, shuck the peas and wash and coarsely chop the spinach.
Add both vegetables to the pot, along with the stock. Bring to a boil
and cook for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the coconut milk.
3. Purée about a cup of the soup in a blender and return it to the pot.
Taste for salt, season with white pepper, and serve, garnished with
fresh cilantro leaves. Or purée all of the soup until smooth, about
1 minute, then pass it through a strainer and serve.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Chilled Spring Pea Soup
(Chef Daniel Boulud)

Garden Vegetable Minestrone
Gigi's Potage St. Germain
Ragout of Peas and Morels
Spring Pea Soup
(Michael Chiarello) 

Spinach Soup with Crème Fraîche
Spring Vegetable Soup

Index - Soup Recipe Archives
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Rites of Spring Recipes
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