• Colby Garrelts’ Fresh Pea Soup


Bursting with the grassy, sweet flavors of the season.

By Colby Garrelts

You’ll know that warm weather has officially arrived when this incredibly velvety pea soup appears at bluestem. I put it on the menu as soon as fresh English peas become available. The soup bursts with the grassy, sweet flavors of the season. Although it’s served warm at the restaurant, on a warm spring day I’ll make this pea soup at home and serve it chilled, with a glass of white wine. If you do this, remember to taste and season it just before serving.

Diners at the restaurant often ask how the soup maintains its vibrant, green color. The trick: All of the ingredients are blended together while they are cold, and the soup is kept chilled until it is ready to be served. It is not seasoned or warmed until the very last minute.

Fresh Pea Soup


  • 4  1/2 cups fresh English peas, shelled and blanched for 1
  • minute and chilled
  • 4 cups Vegetable Stock, chilled
  • 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
  • Sour cream for dollops on soup
  • 1 tablespoon freshly crushed pink peppercorns


Servings: 4

In a blender, combine 4 cups of the peas, the vegetable stock, and parsley. Blend on high speed until the ingredients become a smooth puree. Transfer the soup to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to for up to 3 days.

When you are ready to serve, heat the soup over medium heat until it has warmed through (do not boil the soup, which will hasten its discoloration). Season with salt and pepper to taste. At the restaurant, we finish the pea soup by whisking in a touch of butter to give it a richer texture and flavor.

Place a dollop of sour cream in the center of each of the 4 soup bowls. Divide the remaining ½ cup peas among the bowls, arranging them around the sour cream. Sprinkle the crushed pink peppercorns (see note) over the top. Pour the warmed soup around the sour cream and peas at the table.

NOTE Crush the pink peppercorns between two kitchen towels or in a tightly sealed plastic bag with a rolling pin.

Photograph by Bonjwing Lee.

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