It’s that time of year when you have to drive to work with the heat blasting (maybe even, god forbid, after having reluctantly shaved a thin layer of ice off of your windshield) only to drive home with the windows down, or the AC on if you’re really lucky. That time of year when a t-shirt would be laughably foolish but a sweater seems a bit heavy-handed. Welcome to that temperamentally fickle time between Winter and Spring. It doesn’t seem entirely right to eat a braise, but it certainly feels unnatural to be breaking into brightly-coloured produce. What you need is a dish that can easily straddle the line between frosty and springy. Something green enough to remind you of summer, but hearty enough to not make you yearn for it too early. Something like…pea soup.
I know, I know, I’ve lost you already haven’t I? You’re thinking that it’s a real stretch, proposing pea soup as an antidote to mid-season confusion. Hear me out: Peas are traditionally early-appearing produce, one that you don’t have to wait until late summer for, unlike those damn tomatoes that make you sit around forever and a day before the decent ones are ready. But assuming you live in Vancouver, and Spring is being inconsistently dangled in front of you some days, and yanked harshly away on others, there’s always the solution of split-peas (a dry-good that will have your back regardless of the season). So there’s point number one already: seasonal adaptability. Point number two is that pea soup can either be a rib-sticking, wintery comfort food (e.g. split-pea soup) OR a simple, chilled soup that just oozes freshness and vibrancy (e.g. minty pea soup – also so sorry for using the word ‘oozes’ in a food context). If you need a third point to round out the argument, consider that both versions are quite easy and non-fiddly to assemble, thus leaving you with piles of extra energy for either shoveling snow or skipping about in a flowery field.
Winter is never-ending: click here for Leanne’s Split-Pea Soup w/ Bacon Fat Croutons.
Spring is right around the corner: click here for BA’s Best: Minty Pea Soup.