Friday, August 14, 2009

What to Do with Overgrown Snow and Sugar Peas

Every summer, Judy and I go to Seattle around the last week of July for a family reunion. The timing coincides with the maturity of the first of our snow pea and sugar pea crops, along with other vegetables in the garden.

This year, we've both vowed to make our gardening far more productive. We're composting seriously now, instead of in a lame way. And we're trying to find ways to harvest and store a far higher percentage of the crop. It will go a long way, too, with only two of us to feed, instead of us and the two kids, who are both in or out of college now.

I found some recipes on the web for snow pea soup. Essentially, snow peas are only good in things like stir fries, or raw, when they are small and tender. The overly mature pods have taste, but are stringy and not very delectable in that state, so turning them into a refined product makes sense.

Here's what I did:

Prepare the basic ingredients - the peas, a big leek, an onion, some celery stalks, olive oil, and chicken (or vegetable) broth:

Put them in a sauce pan. At first, add a bit of the canned broth:

Eventually, add the celery (note that Judy convinced me to also add an overgrown zucchini):

Put the stuff in a blender or food processor:


We'll see how well it stores in the freezer.


Jim said...

Gotta build a fence. The only thing that works is a fence-- moose came in last night and ate my peas. Left a few short stocks with a couple peas for me. Happens every year between Aug. 10 and Aug 15 (as it starts to get dark).

Philip Munger said...

We've been lucky. There's a summer moose path four blocks away, but they seem to stay away from our place until late October or early November. Then they camp out in our marsh until March.

knock on wood...

Anonymous said...

The soup looks delish, I will give it a try...I love this blog and I am a frequent reader... I check in daily..thanks for keeping it real.

HarpboyAK said...


Try steaming fresh peas with some finely chopped Walla Walla sweet onion, then chill and blend with fresh mint. Serve chilled, it's a wonderful soup, but the peas must be right off the vine so that they are still high in sugar.

The late lamented Fiddlehead Restaurant in Juneau used to serve this soup for lunch in late July & early August, when a Gustavus grower would pick the peas early in the morning and ship them to Juneau on the first flight.

Philip Munger said...


I've used that recipe - I think it is in their cookbook. We didn't grow regular peas this year, just sugar snap and snow peas.

the problem child said...

You can also shell and dry overgrown peas, then use them later to make hearty pea soups. Just lay them out in a lawyer a single pea deep and give the pan a toss once a day to prevent them from getting mouldy, In dry conditions, they should be ready for storage in a paper bag or glass jar with a loose-fitting lid in about two weeks. Boil them up later with some bacon and your favorite spices & herbs. Puree all or half for a delicious winter soup.

Anonymous said...

You forget the cup of liberal bile !

Philip Munger said...


When did The Crazy Woman begin commenting here...?