Kelly's Recipes Return: Spring Pea and Asparagus Soup


Well, I'm back; after a hiatus I am restarting the recipe of the week. As before, I'm am going to provide you with quick, simple recipes that you can make for your family using fresh ingredients. I don't slavishly practice the 100 Mile Diet but I will always use ingredients grown locally when I can. Living in Toronto at this time of the year means that I can choose locally grown turnips, parsnips and mushrooms from the store. My spring crop is a few weeks away, but you might be able to get fresh asparagus and sugar snap peas in your area now, so I would like to offer a recipe that I have made in the past and am looking forward to making again soon. (be sure to go to the new forum on food and let us know what you can buy where you are!)

This is a recipe that came from my son, who took a cooking class at Dish Cooking Studio in Toronto with the well known chef Greg Couillard.As with many chefs, Mr. Couillard doesn't write down specific amounts so there is a bit of approximating involved. Don't let that put you off making this - it's a bit different every time I make it, but it's always delicious. The soup calls for birds eye chilies which are quite hot, so do use gloves if you can, or carefully wash your hands and cutting surface right after chopping them. It also calls for chicken stock, but of course it would be perfect with vegetable stock as well. When cooking the stock for this soup toss in a couple of seeded birds eye chilies, a piece of lemon grass, peeled and about 2 inches of ginger peeled and sliced, to enhance the flavour.


about 2 cups leeks whites cleaned and roughly chopped
4 tbsp sweet butter
3 litres (12 cups) of chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 can coconut milk - if you want a richer soup you can add a cup of whipping cream as well
2 tbsp honey
2 cups sugar snap peas
1 - 3 birds eye chili (seeded and chopped) - the amount is up to depending on how hot you like your food
white ground pepper to taste
salt to taste
4 cups yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut into 1/4" cubes
1 bunch asparagus blanched and cut into 1/2 " pieces

1. Saute leek whites in the butter adding the salt and white pepper
2. Add copped chili and potatoes and cover with boiling stock. Cook on medium boil until potatoes are soft
3. Add the asparagus, peas and cilantro leaves with the coconut (and cream if using) and simmer 2 minutes.
4. Puree until smooth - thin with stock if necessary (I never puree it that much, I like some vegetables for texture. It's up to you)
5 Garnish with asparagus tips, julienne cut snap peas and cilantro leaves

Serves 12

Dish Cooking Studio

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