Zadie’s Fresh Pea Soup

Note: Before I started Together In The Kitchen I had a blog of letters devoted to my daughter, Eva. It was my way of passing recipes down to her as well as stories of us being together in the kitchen.  I will continue letters to her on this blog from time to time.  xo, Michelle

Dear Eva,

This Pea Soup Story – as your Zaidie calls it –  has taken on a life of its own over the years.  The story begins 56 years ago in Winnipeg, Canada  during the Hot Summer of 1956.   In those days you could find Zaidie’s mom, your Great Bubbie Sahra doing one or both of her favorite things: cooking at home or shopping at Eaton’s Department Store where air conditioning blew close to freezing.

On this particular day – the Infamous Pea Soup Day  – your Great Bubbie Sahra spent the entire day preparing a hot pea soup from scratch. It was brutally hot in the kitchen but your Great Bubbie Sahra didn’t care. Her husband, Great Zaidie Jacques was coming home for dinner and pea soup was his favorite.  You see, Great Zaidie Jacques worked almost every night as the owner of The Ranch House restaurant and was rarely home to eat dinner with his family.

Legend is that Great Zaidie Jacques was sitting at the table, Seagram’s VO on the rocks in hand, waiting for dinner.  Zaidie’s younger sister, your Auntie Malky (barely a teenager at the time) walks in the front door and says  “Eww, the kitchen smells awful, I hate pea soup.”  Next your Zaidie walks through the door and says “Ugh, it smells disgusting in here”.  In lightning flash, Great Bubbie Sahra threw the entire pot of soup down the drain. Zaidie has blocked out most of the memory from this day except for the shocked look of his father, the temperament of his mother and no dinner for anyone.

It took many years but Zaidie now likes and makes pea soup.  During the summer I buy him 5 pounds of fresh peas from the San Carlos Farmers Market so he can make his special soup.  I told him that at approximately 4 dollars a pound he was not allowed to throw this soup down the drain.

His secret is using an immersion hand held blender to puree the soup making it easier to control the texture.  He recommends serving it along with a slice of toasted baguette smeared with goat cheese and topped with lox. The soup is best at room temperature.

Zaidie’s Pea Soup. His words, his recipe, not a lot of measurement, more art, less science.

fresh tarragon
lemon juice
chicken stock
creme fraiche or sour cream
almost forgot …..fresh peas

Sautee two shallots coursly chopped in vegetable oil (olive oil in this case is too strong). Add four cups chicken broth, add 3-4 cups peas, chopped tarragon, SP, Bring to a boil…simmer 15 min…use immersion blender and puree. Allow to cool, then puree with  1/4 cup sour cream (or creme fraishe) and add some lemon.  Serve at room temperature.

Toast bagette, schmear with goat cheese and top with slice of lox. Float it in the soup.

I love you,


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