Some years ago I discovered Wasabi Peas at our local Asian foods market. It was love at first taste and so since then I have been addicted to this spicy crunchy snack. I love the bite of the Wasabi exterior and the crunch of the dried peas inside. Trader Joe’s sells their store version of this snack as well and often when I am too lazy to go to the Asian store, I just make a quick dash to trader Joe’s to replenish my stock of Wasabi Peas. I got the idea of making Wasabi Pea soup from this snack but then I decided that I needed to round out the dominant pea flavor a little bit and so I added leeks to it. The leeks gave it a good sweetish base and the soup came out absolutely delicious. I garnished it with a few slices of Serrano chili peppers that gave it another spicy, yet fruity, kick! Those of you that follow my blog regularly must have noticed that I like bright colors and two of my favorite colors are lime green and red (my kitchen utensils are often green or red. So this soup which turned out to be the prettiest shade of green and the red chilies on top made it very appetizing to look at. On a cold winter evening in DC, this made the most perfect dinner for me tonight!
1. Two stalks of leeks (if you can find leeks, use one large white onion)
2. 1.5 cups of petite sweet peas (they are sweeter than regular peas)
3. 2 teaspoons of Wasabi paste (less if you don’t want it too sharp)
4. 2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth (for vegetarians)
5. 1.5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
6. 1 tablespoon of butter
7. Salt to taste
8. A pinch of sugar
9. 3-4 tablespoons of half and half
1. Wash the leeks under cold water. You may need to cut the stalks to remove the grit that often collects between the leaves.
9. When the soup is hot and boiling, add the half and half and stir. Turn the heat down.
10. Serve the soup while it is still piping hot with a garnish of sliced Serrano chilies and a little bit of extra virgin olive oil poured on top.