THIS SPICY PEA SOUP WILL SMACK YOUR TASTE BUDS

We used chili and crushed peanuts made by Xilli.

We used chili and crushed peanuts made by Xilli.

Earlier this summer, we hosted a dinner with Chef Maria Grubb and she served a spicy pea soup garnished with purple asparagus that we all raved about. We recently made it at home and it's fantastic! And so bright green! And the lime zest and spoonful of chili are perfect additions for rounding out the flavor. Our plating may be less glamorous than hers but it turned out well and you should go make it for yourself right now. I served it hot but in this summer heat, you might try it cold too. Should you find yourself in San Juan, look up her restaurant, Gallo Negro, for international Caribbean cuisine and very good cocktails.

Recipe after the photos!

Photos by Sarah Forbes Keough.

Tossing the peas in veggie stock, water and sautéed onions and garlic.

Tossing the peas in veggie stock, water and sautéed onions and garlic.

We puréed our soup with an immersion blender, sadly we do not own a Vitamix.

We puréed our soup with an immersion blender, sadly we do not own a Vitamix.

Rosé pairs really well with cooking in the summer.

Rosé pairs really well with cooking in the summer.

Working on our plating skills.

Working on our plating skills.

PEA SOUP WITH ASPARAGUS AND CHILI OIL

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 white onion
2 cloves of garlic puree
1 quart of vegetable stock
2 mint leaves
2 pounds of shelled peas
Salt and white pepper to taste
A touch of heavy cream (if desired) 

Sweat onion to translucent over low heat in a soup pot with a teaspoon of salt. Add garlic and cook for 1 min. Then add the vegetable stock, bring to boil, add the shelled peas and turn off the heat. Add mint. Mix all ingredients in a Vitamix (or just a blender if you don't have one). Season with salt and white pepper to taste. For plating: Top with creme fraiche, thinly sliced raw asparagus coins, basil sprouts, chili oil and lime zest. Serves 4.

Chef Maria taking us shopping on our last trip to visit her in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Chef Maria taking us shopping on our last trip to visit her in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Sarah Keough