Thursday, March 5, 2009

Wasabi Pea Soup




So the wild winter blizzard originally predicted at the beginning of the week didn't happen, but it's still nice to come home and warm up with a big pot of soup. Instead of making just an average pea soup, feed the fire and add some wasabi to the mix! There's no better way to warm up quickly... well, I suppose I could think of a few things, but in the interest of keeping things PG, I'll stick to the soup. If you like it really spicy, add a little extra wasabi to the individual soup bowls when you first serve it. You may not want to add it to the stock pot, because as I found out the next day, that wasabi heat sure does ignite after you let the flavors blend in the fridge for a few hours, even if it's just an extra teaspoon!

The Whats:

* 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
* 4 cloves garlic, halved
* 1 small onion, diced
* 1 1 lb. bag of frozen sweet peas
* 1 medium potato, diced
* 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth
* 2 bay leaves
* 3 tsp. wasabi powder
* 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
* black pepper to taste


The Hows:

1) Heat oil in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until caramelized, about 8 minutes.

2) Stir in peas, potato, and 1 tsp. wasabi powder to the pot; cook for 1 minute. Add vegetable broth and bay leaves to the stock pot. Bring a boil; reduce heat to a simmer, stir in an additional tsp. of wasabi powder and cook soup for 30 to 35 minutes, or until potatoes are softened.

3) Remove from heat and allow soup about 10 to 15 minutes to cool. Using a slotted spoon or sieve, set aside 1 cup of the peas and potatoes from the soup.

4) Transfer soup to a blender. Puree soup in blender for about 10 seconds or until smooth. Transfer soup from blender back into the stock pot. Add the reserved peas and potatoes, remaining wasabi powder, and the rice vinegar; cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Serve hot with rice crackers or nori crackers.

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