Spotlight on Snap Peas

Well, you all must have noticed from their abundance at pick ups and our offer of unlimited “pick your own,” that we have excess of snap peas over here. We actually feel a little bit like we’re swimming with them over here, so they seemed like an obvious choice for this week’s spotlight vegetable. So, if you’re looking for a way to use up the twelve pounds of peas that you picked here over the weekend, or if you just want a few more creative options for the quart that you get at pick-up, we’ve got you covered.

On hot nights, for instance, you can (and, I think, should) try what we tried for the hot, hot solstice on Wednesday: chilled mint and snap pea soup. (We had it with a side of fresh summer rolls, an excellent recipe for which you can find here).

We were too busy eating and not busy enough taking pictures of this meal, but the soup is the green stuff way in the back.

You don’t need too many ingredients, just:

  • 1 large potato of any variety, cubed
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (though chicken stock or water would both be just fine in a pinch)
  • 5 cups sugar snap peas, washed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 8 leaves butter lettuce
  • 1 sprig of parsley, chopped (about a tablespoon)
  • about 1/4-1/2 cup of mint leaves (to taste)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 large or 2 small onions or 1 bunch scallions
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons of oil of your choice (I used olive oil)

Then all you want to do is this:

  1. Saute the onions, garlic, lettuce, and parsley on medium heat until the onions are translucent and then add the stock and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the snap peas and cook for no longer than five minutes.
  4. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the mint leaves.
  5. Allow to cool slightly and then puree, either by transferring to a food processor (I had to do this in two batches) or by using an immersion blender.

Chill in the refrigerator– or, if you want to eat sooner rather than later– transfer the soup to a large bowl. Place this bowl in a larger bowl and fill the remainder of the large bowl with ice and water. Stir the soup until chilled (should be about five minutes).

If you want a richer soup, you can serve this with creme fraiche, Parmesan cheese, Greek yogurt, or a swirl of half and half. To keep it vegan, you could puree a non-dairy milk or yogurt or even silken tofu into the soup before cooling.

OK, so it’s not a picture of the kale and chick pea stiry-fry, but it is a stir-fry with snap peas. This one happened to have indian spices, potatoes, and tomatoes.

If you want something a little more substantial for dinner than soup, you could try Kayla’s delicious Friday-night stirfry. I asked her for the recipe, but, as would anyone who’s a  natural in the kitchen, “So I don’t think I have the exact recipe but basically I sauteed kale, snap peas, onions, and garlic together with some olive oil and added some chickpeas at the end. It was pretty simple.” There you have it! Easy weeknight dinner!

And, if you’re looking for a healthy side dish or something that you can bring with you to a potluck or cookout, I’d suggest Theresa’s mint, snap pea, and rice salad. (I’ve hyperlinked that last piece of text. Can you all tell when I have linked or not? Let me know if you can’t!) She served it with a stir-fry and these steal-the-show scallion crepes.

Anyone else out there cooking with snap peas this week? Let us know in the comments section!

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