Do you ever try to challenge yourself by creating a recipe based on the seemingly random ingredients sitting around in your fridge/freezer/pantry? I usually end up scratching my head and making an omelette or pasta with olive oil and garlic. Inspired by the Food Network’s Chopped, when challengers are forced to make dishes in a short time frame with completely random ingredients in a basket, I decided to push myself–to make do with what I had on hand–no matter how crazy it seemed.
It was a Saturday afternoon, one of the chilliest early days of Fall yet, and I found myself with a craving for split pea soup. I usually make it with dried split peas and smoked ham hocks–and had neither on hand. But I did have a bag of beautiful peas in the freezer. Any pea soup, in my mind, needs some sort of flavor enhancer–usually the smokiness of ham or bacon. Then I spied the tahini sauce in the fridge. I knew this would add an extra tang/nuttiness to the bowl. And then I thought, how about some kind of croutons for crunch? Even better, packaged crispy onions in the pantry. So here you have it: Pea Soup with Tahini Sauce and Crispy Onions. So belly warming, so fresh on the pallette–we didn’t have a single drop left.
I started by chopping a 1/4 of a large yellow onion and adding it to a large pot with some olive oil. Next some minced garlic and dried marjoram. Once that all became transluscent and soft, I added the frozen peas–still frozen, right out of the bag.
Next I poured in the chicken stock, boiled the peas and simmered for about 5 minutes, and then turned off the heat. With a whirl of my hand immersion blender, this gorgeous, bright green soup emerged. Topped with some leftover tahini sauce and store-bought crispy onions, I was in heaven. The combo of velvety peas, crunchy salty onions, and creamy tangy tahini sauce was lovely. Very light, very easy, very cheap.
Pea Soup with Tahini Sauce and Crispy Onions
Recipe original to Olive to Cook
1 12-ounce bag of frozen peas
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups chicken stock/broth
1 pinch of dried marjoram
salt & white pepper to taste
1. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and garlic–cook until translucent, about 5-10 minutes. Season with salt, white pepper, and marjoram. Add the frozen peas (no need to thaw them), stir to combine. Cook two more minutes.
2. Pour in the chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Blend soup in a blender or with an immersion blender until smooth.
3. Ladle hot soup into bowls. Top each with a dollop of tahini sauce and a tablespoon of fried onions. Serve.
Tips: If you intend to eat this soup hot, make sure the tahini sauce is at room temperature when adding to the soup. If it’s straight out of the fridge, it may bring the temperature of the soup down too much. However, you could chill this soup and serve cold, and the results would be just as yummy.