This week has been a flurry of travels, family time, dog adventures, stresses, cooking, and happiness. And then, like that, we slowed things down for just a moment and I woke up sniffly and headachy and car-runneth-me-over-y. I am not very good at caring for myself when I am sick; I am better at caring for others, by way of soup, tea, entertainment (in the form of 2nd grade-level jokes and/or interpretive dance moves), and collaborative movie-watching. When I am sick, there is little I feel like doing other than couching-it hardcore, eating toast, and watching reruns of Gilmore Girls.
Those kinds of things are cathartic, and they also help you forget that you are in a house which is lacking in groceries and general stuff that makes sick people better. This makes for a sad 5 minutes of shuffling around the kitchen while wrapped babushka-style in a blanket. But, after a little scrounging, maybe you find a bag of frozen peas. Some butter. An old onion, and a little curry powder. Plus a lonely fridge lemon. And you think, hey, I could totally make soup with this. So you do. And it kind of rocks.
And you feel better.
(And you call your soup "velouté" because it helps you to feel fancy in spite of your red nose and raging case of bedhead.)
Pantry Pea Velouté with Curry and Lemon
This recipe is very loosely based on an amazing soup that my Aunt Diane makes regularly. Her version has half-and-half, but I've made it before with whole milk or coconut milk (so creamy, so vegan) and loved it just as much. Dealer's choice on this one. Also, apologies in advance for all the notes by the ingredients, though I hope they make you confident in your ability to make this soup since apparently you can forget almost 30% of the ingredients and have it still be awesome.
2 tablespoons butter, ghee, or coconut oil 1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (omit if making GF)
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water (I used water this time, which gives you a clean, bright soup, albeit with less depth)
1 large pinch kosher salt
1 large pinch sugar (optional; I forgot to add this, and I didn't really miss it... though keep in mind my nose is stopped up)
1 pound frozen peas (equivalent to 1 bag)
1/2 pound frozen spinach (again, I forgot this... whoops)
1/2-1 cup half-and-half, whole milk, or coconut milk (yup, didn't add this either)
lemon juice, to taste
Melt the butter, ghee, or coconut oil in a pot over medium-low heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens and becomes translucent (5-7 minutes). Add the flour and curry powder to the onions, and stir continuously for a couple of minutes while the flour cooks. Add a little stock or water and stir up any flour stuck to the bottom of your pan, then add the rest of the stock, the salt, and the sugar (if using), and let everything simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the frozen peas and spinach (if using) to the pot, and let everything simmer for 15 minutes. Take the pot off of the heat, and purée the soup using a stand blender or immersion blender. Add the half-and-half, whole milk, or coconut milk, and stir to combine. Taste soup, and add lemon juice for brightness and additional salt if necessary.
Optional garnishes - I've had this with buttered croutons (amazing), creme fraîche (amazing), and lemon yogurt (yummmmmy). The soup in the picture is topped with yogurt mixed with a little lemon juice and some piment d'Espelette for color and a smidge of heat (just in case you were wondering!).