Saturday, February 21, 2009


As many of you know, I love the Food Network. I don't know what it is, but I find food tv mesmerizing. All that chopping and dicing and close-ups and colors, I just get so happy and relaxed. :) The only down side to all this is that most of the dishes prepared are not vegan. But do I get all sad-faced and change the channel? No way! I figure out how to veganize. For example, the other day Ina Garten aka The Barefoot Contessa make a pea soup that looked so yummy, only she used butter, chicken stock, and sour cream. Blech. But make the same recipe with Earth Balance, No-Chicken Broth, and Tofutti Sour "Cream", and we're good to go. Top with some organic garlic croutons, and you've got our lovely dinner from last night:

This soup is perfect for a cold day when you long for spring because it's hot and satisfying, yet lightened up by the fresh mint and pea flavors. Make the substitutions I mentioned above and enjoy!


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 5 cups freshly shelled peas or 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen peas
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped chives
  • Garlic croutons, for serving


Heat the butter in a large saucepan, add the leeks and onion, and cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the onion is tender. Add the chicken stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add the peas and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the peas are tender. (Frozen peas will take only 3 minutes.) Off the heat, add the mint, salt, and pepper.

*Puree the soup in batches: place 1 cup of soup in a blender, place the lid on top, and puree on low speed. With the blender still running, open the venthole in the lid and slowly add more soup until the blender is three-quarters full. Pour the soup into a large bowl and repeat until all the soup is pureed. Whisk in the creme fraiche and chives and taste for seasoning. Serve hot with garlic croutons.

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