One of my partner’s favorite supper meals growing up was pea soup with dumplings. Admittedly, when I heard him talk of pea soup, I thought of the thick, salty, split pea soup I experienced as a child. Though I’ve grown to like that soup (with a little less salt), I had not a clue what this would wind up being. Pea soup with dumplings is a celebration of the garden pea. There isn’t a ham bone, there are no carrots, and there is no broth. Yes, just peas and dumplings…with a little browned butter.
On a mission to get the most pea flavor possible, I set out to try something new this time around. What if the broth itself was infused with garden pea flavor? I got the idea while shelling three pounds of peas. By the way, shelling three pounds of peas yielded 4 cups of peas. We were very excited to see the amount received as we have never had that many at once before!
I took the discarded pods and decided we would “steep” the pods in water. I rinsed any remaining dirt off of the pods and placed them in a stock pot. Before adding water, I pressed down as hard as I could on the pods to help start breaking their cells a bit. I figured if I could offer a slightly broken down pod, there would be more extracted into the water.
I added water just so that there were a few pods sticking above the water. The water was brought to a boil and I continued to press on the pods until they were all submerged. Once the water came to a boil, I removed it from the heat and covered for an hour. The result: an amazing garden pea broth. The pea pods didn’t look so hot…but that’s fine as they gave up their best for a lovely pea-flavored broth.
Follow the recipe below to savor the best your garden peas have to offer!
- 4 c garden pea broth (see above instructions)
- 1 c water
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 2 c garden peas
- ½ stick butter
- 1½ c all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp double-acting baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 c milk
- Place pea broth, water, and salt in a stock pot. Bring to a boil.
- Mix dumpling ingredients (don't over stir) and set aside.
- In a small pan, heat butter. Hold off on browning the butter until after the dumplings have been dropped.
- Add peas to boiling water. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 2 minutes.
- Drop dumplings by heaping tablespoon into water. After all dumplings have been added, flip dumplings to cook second side.
- Heat butter at a higher temperature now and bring to browned stage.
- Reserve one ladle of pea broth and pour browned butter over dumplings. Then, pour broth into butter pan to rinse and pour broth/butter into pot.
- Serve immediately.