Fall and winter have always been soup-making seasons to me (although I do a fair amount of soup making in spring and summer, too). This soup, a similar version of which was made at our secret restaurant a few weeks ago, was begging to be made again. It’s a recipe by way of my cohost’s San Francisco roommate and I kept the basics the same, but added fresh basil and ginger for a little something different. I also used all cremini mushrooms, which is why my outcome was a bit less vibrantly green than the original; use white mushrooms if you don’t want to neutralize the hue of the peas. And you know, I bet this soup would also be absolutely killer with fresh mint or another one of your favorite herbs…it’s such a lovely, fresh, and amazing base to work with.
Sweet Pea and Mushroom Soup
makes about 2 quarts
2 tablespoons oil (I used olive, but a more neutral flavor would also work great)
1 large yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
16 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups coconut milk, light or regular (one can does the trick)
10 ounces (1 bag) frozen sweet green peas, thawed
salt and pepper to taste
one or two handfuls of fresh basil leaves, plus additional to garnish (optional)
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and saute the onions, garlic, and ginger until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt, cooking until they have released their juices and are beginning to brown; I like to put the lid on to let the veggies “sweat” while they’re cooking. Deglaze the pan with vegetable stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Decrease the heat to simmer, add the coconut milk, and cook until warmed through. Add the peas, salt and pepper, and basil, and puree with an immersion blender (or in batches in a food processor or regular blender). Reheat and serve warm with fresh basil leaf garnish or a little swirl of coconut milk.