Jamie Oliver is one of my cooking heroes. His books, apps, and TV shows (especially Food Revolution) have taught me so much about cooking and eating real food.

This pea soup draws some inspiration from a recipe I first learned in the Jamie’s Recipes app for the iPhone/iPad and it’s probably my favorite soup recipe of all time. It has been veganized and one-ingredientized, as always.

Speaking of Jamie Oliver, in less than a month, it will be his official Food Revolution Day, a day to focus on keeping cooking skills alive. Most kids don’t know where their food comes from and never learn proper cooking skills. May 17th is the perfect opportunity to cook something *real* and give someone else a lesson in how to do the same (this pea soup would be a great place to start). I believe strongly in this initiative because One Ingredient Chef was created on the same principles.

As part of Food Revolution Day, Jamie is also holding a contest where, by donating $3 to his Food Foundation, you’ll be entered to win an opportunity to fly to London and cook with Jamie Oliver. You can enter the contest here – but if you win, you have to take me with you. :)

Now on to this incredible pea soup…

Pea Soup

Makes 4-5 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 white onion
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 6 large mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup soy milk or soy cream
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt & black pepper
  • 3 slices bread (for croutons)

Step One

Dice the onion and chop the celery – the soup will eventually be blended, so don’t worry about making the dices too pretty. In a large pot, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and add the celery and onion, letting them cook over medium heat.

Step Two

In a second pot, add the 4 cups of vegetable broth and heat to a simmer. Peel and grate the potatoes, add them to the pot of vegetable broth. Break up 3-4 large mint leaves and throw them into the pot as well.

NOTE: Don’t forget the mint! One time I had started making this soup and realized I didn’t have any mint. Rather than skipping it, I put everything on hold and went to the nearest grocery store to get some. In this pea soup, I would say the mint is as important as the peas: forget it and the soup is only a shell of what it could be.

Step Three

Back to the first pot… when the onions and celery are translucent but not browned, add the 2 cups frozen peas and cook until thawed. Then, add the 1/2 cup soy (or any non-dairy) milk. Although not certified one ingredient, I often use soy coffee creamer for a richer taste. Add about 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.

Then, carefully pour the broth and potatoes into the main pot with the peas and stir until everything is incorporated.

Step Four

Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Depending on the size of your blender, you may need to divide the soup into 2-3 batches. Alternatively, you can use a hand (immersion) blender to puree right in the pot. Return to the pot and continue to heat for 5-10 minutes. At this time, give the soup a taste and adjust the salt/pepper as needed.

Step Five

Make the croutons. If you’ve never made croutons like this before, you’re in for a treat. You can use any bread you like. A natural, whole-grain bread like Ezekiel works surprisingly well, but I cheated and used Ciabatta rolls for the images on this recipe.

Toasting Croutons

Slice your bread into 1/2 inch chunks and heat over medium-high heat with a splash of olive oil. Toss occasionally and let them slowly become crispy. Meanwhile, finely chop the remaining mint leaves and add them to a bowl. When the croutons are ready, transfer them to this bowl and toss to coat with the mint.

Ladle the soup into bowls, top with the mint/croutons, pour a glass of white wine, and dig in.

Pea Soup