Peas, Rosie, and Me

Arrived home early this afternoon after a highly uncomfortable journey from Aberdeenshire to Inverness.  The reason for my discomfort was not the twisty, slow A96, nor was it bad weather, nor illness, nor traffic, nor any other problem one might expect from a car trip: it was the constant forlorn looks I was getting from the homesick dog in the back seat.  Rosie (my brother’s cocker spaniel) was obviously not as excited I was about her week long stay in Inverness.  

On arriving home I did my absolute best to make her happy.  Though my cuddling, walking and hiding-a-bag-of-chicken-in-my-pocket tactics worked to an extent, we didn’t truly bond until it began thundering.  I was excited (embarrassingly so – it doesn’t thunder much here) and she was confused (also embarrassingly so – she prides herself on being fiesty).  But we both wanted a cuddle.  It was perfect.  🙂

Post-bonding, we played in the garden.  Nowadays, whenever I have been away from home for a few days the first thing I do on my return is check the vegetable patch.  Last week I came home to raspberries.  This week I came home to peas!  Hurrah!

Peas are fantastic.  Not only do they look amazing (teeny-weeny, perfect spheres of flawless green), they also taste heavenly sweet.  I remember my cousin and I gorging ourselves on our grandfather’s peas.  Standing amongst the vines (?) which towered above us, we’d eat the actual peas then crunch up the casings and suck the juice out before spitting out what was left of the chewed up, stringy green pods all over Gaga’s (what we called our grandfather) garden.  Needless to say we got in a lot of trouble. 

My own peas aren’t ready yet.  Having already popped four of the unripened pods (are these mangetout?) into my mouth I am trying extremely hard to leave the rest alone.  I’m with Nigella on the pea issue.  Fresh peas (as in JUST picked) are amazing if you are lucky enough to have access to them; frozen peas are also fantastically sweet; the podded peas that are sold in summer in the supermarkets, however, are crap.  In the day or so it takes them to get to the store they have lost their sweetness and have become starchy instead.  Do you agree?  Or have I just had bad pea experiences?  Or perhaps my good pea experiences have just been too good?

Is this a glass half empty/half full question?  😉

Anyhoo, my garden pea progress put me in the mood for a fresh pea soup.  The following recipe is made frequently in my kitchen.  I love it.

Pea, Basil and Feta Soup

(Serves 4)

2 tblspn olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

400g frozen peas

750ml chicken or vegetable stock

Handful of basil


100g feta cheese

  • Heat the oil in a medium pan over a medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and saute gently until soft but not browned.
  • Add the peas and stir.  Cook for 1 min.
  • Add the stock and stir.  Bring to the boil then reduce the heat.  Simmer gently for 10 mins.
  • Remove from heat, add basil leaves and blend.  Season carefully (remember the feta will be salty).
  • Serve sprinkled with a generous amount of feta and a moderate amount of black pepper.

By the by, if anyone was wondering how the doggy weekend went, it was fab.  Check out flickr on the sidebar for a couple of canine pictures.  🙂


28 thoughts on “Peas, Rosie, and Me

  1. Poor Rosie! She will soon settle in!
    I remember eating peas in my neighbours garden, when I was little, they were always the best! I know what you mean about supermarket peas! I am always excited to see them, but usually diasppointed! The only way to get the best out of a bad bunch is to go for the skinnier peas! I always have a good rummage in the box!

  2. Wendy, I am so proud of you! Your garden is heavenly! It looks so clean, bright and healthy. See, it loves for you to tout on it! Ditto on the fresh pea situation. Only fresh from the garden is the best. In the winter when I use frozen, which are already shelled and not too bad, we have for a side dish “bowls of peas”. Mike will ask what we are having for dinner and I say – chicken and bowls of peas. We love just steamed peas in little bowls with lots of butter, salt and pepper. Then we eat them with a spoon!
    Fresh peas still in the pod I love to make a fresh stir fry!
    Rosie is a sweety and I am sure loving all the attention from Aunt Wendy! She will be fine.

  3. Rosie is gorgeous!

    Fresh peas are divine picked straight from the vine – it is hard to stop at just one or two. Beautiful photographs Wendy.

  4. Rosie looks so cute, even if a little bit sad. I;m sure she’ll settle soon.
    I never made pea soup before, but speaking of peas reminds me of mushy peas which i love to have on my meat pie. 🙂

  5. Sophie – Me too. Think it’s going to be difficult to let her go now though.

    Rose – Think it might be. Though perhaps I’d blend the soup more. Not that keen on cold, lumpy dishes.

    Holler – Will try that trick in the supermarket when my peas run out!

    Deb – Thanks! Chicken and bowls of peas sound great to me. 🙂

    Lucy – She really really is, they really really are and thank you very much. 🙂

    Figs Olives Wine – Love hearing the names people call their family members. Rosie melts my heart too. And she knows it!

    Anh – Hope you enjoy it!

    Nora – Mushy peas are great. I love them with fried fish and lots of ketchup!

  6. Hi, my name is Maninas, and I’m a pea thief…. 🙂 and an alcoholic, too, but never mind! It’s all about peas this time!
    My gran used to grow peas, too, and we kids loved nothing better than pinching the peas, before they’re even ripe, when they’re at their juiciest… ah… memories! yum!

    btw, your recipe sounds delicious! if i hadn’t melted my food processor (ehm), i would make it tonight! the bf is starting to tease me about my love of peas, but never mind! at the moment i’m to enamoured to care! both with him and the peas, in case you wondered who with! 😉

  7. love the soup, love your peas in the garden, love rosie – it all seems so summery – except the thunder – my mum’s dog lives outside except when it thunders!

  8. I have some peas I purchased at the farmers market on Saturday. I have been looking for something exciting to create with them. Your Pea, Feta and Basil soup has inspired me and will fit the bill!!!

  9. Johanna – It does sound summery. Wish we would get some summery weather though! It’s hasn’t been over 20oC this month!

    Margarita – Welcome! Glad you’ve been inspired. 🙂

    Patricia – It’s a very cheery soup so definitely good for cold weather.

  10. Awwww. I am glad you and Rosie finally bonded. I love fresh peas. Back home we used to have peas in our back garden (my prents still do). We used to shell and eat the peas and then fold each side of the casing in half, remove the thin layer of film clinging to the inside of them and eat the casings too . I think you could only do that with the young peas where the shells were still soft. I am not sure if it’s the same kind of peas as you have. Probably it is.. how many kind of peas are there anyway? The shells themselves were very sweet and tasty! Sometime even more so that the peas themselves. This brings back memories from my childhood….siiiiigh….

  11. You are so lucky to have garden that beautiful. I have never tried peas with feta before but I will try it tonight since I have all the ingredients. Cute dog with those eyes.

  12. Mainyacha – Don’t think there are more than one type of peas but I could be wrong!

    Rose – Thank you! It gets quite overgrown at times but it is producing lovely veg. Hope you enjoy the soup.

  13. You (and Nigella) are right on (spot on?!?) about the peas. I haven’t been successful with them in my garden, sigh….
    So it’s frozen for me!
    My doggies are terrified of thunder… and fireworks! I had 120 kilos of terrifed dog all weekend (Bastille Day) topped off by a huge storm Sunday night. We were all very tired on Monday!
    Cute dog!

  14. KatieZ – Rosie is OK with fireworks but totally freaks out over thunder. She was practically sitting on my head!

    Cynthia – You’re very welcome. 🙂

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  16. I just tried your recipe – wonderful, even my younger brother loved it (10 yrs. old and a very picky eater …). Thanks!

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