Spring pea soup with miso and tofu

While cruising through the NYT Cooking app looking for pea soup recipes, I found one that features sugar snap peas and adds a little Japanese influence. The soup is light, absolutely delicious and easy to make. It’s also nice that these pea pods are edible — chopping them is quicker than shelling English peas. As we are between winter and spring, I served it with a bitter greens salad and an anchovy vinaigrette and a little fresh bread — excellent.

Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil
  • 1 leek, white and light green parts chopped
  • 1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups chicken stock, heated
  • 4 tablespoons white miso
  • 4 ounces soft tofu (I think it could be firm and it wouldn't matter)
  • Scallions or fresh mint chopped for garnish

Directions

  1. Sauté the leeks in a neutral-flavored oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the peas and season with a little salt and pepper. You can be sparing with the salt as the miso and chicken stock will also add a salty flavor.
  2. Add water and enough of the hot stock to just cover the peas. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the remaining stock and stir in the miso. Cook for about a minute.
  3. Ladle soup into a blender until half full. Blend at high speed, making sure to leave an opening in the lid for steam to escape. I cover this with a clean dish towel. Place a fine mesh strainer over another saucepan and pour the blended soup into the strainer. Use a wooden spoon to smash it until most of the liquid passes through the strainer. Repeat until all the soup is blended. I had mixed emotions here because of the beautiful light green "solids" remaining in the strainer and wondered if the soup wouldn't be just as good without straining it.
  4. Reheat the strained, now very delicate, soup and season to taste. I am learning to add just a bit of salt at a time, tasting frequently (using a two-spoon method to avoid double dipping if you are serving guests) until just right.
  5. Place a serving of tofu in soup bowls, ladle the soup over it, and garnish with scallions or fresh mint.

Nutrition Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 215
  • Carbohydrate: 24 g
  • Sugars: 10 g
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Saturated fat: 1 g
  • Protein: 12 g
  • Sodium will vary depending on amount of salt added

Contributor

Preston Maring, MD

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