Recipe: Spring Pea and Parmesan Soup

Nothing says springtime quite like the first fresh peas of the season picked from the vine, warmed by the sun. Sweet, tender and bursting with flavor, the peas themselves get plenty of love; however, the pea pods are often overlooked, destined to become compost. This recipe uses the pods to create a delicate but flavorful broth enhanced with the rich umami flavors of aged parmesan cheese.


  • 2 lbs. of fresh peas in the pod
  • ½ cup finely chopped white or yellow onion plus ¼ cup of roughly chopped onion
  • ¼ cup of grated parmesan
  • 2 oz. of parmesan rind (about 3 inches of rind)
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 3 ½ cups of water
  • 1 sprig of fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp. butter


  1. Wash and shell peas. Reserve pea pods for use in broth.
  2. Add pea pods, parsley, roughly chopped onion, and vegetable broth to 3 ½ cups of water in a medium saucepan, bring to a simmer and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the parmesan rinds to the saucepan and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  4. Strain and reserve broth.
  5. Melt butter in a clean medium sauce pan over medium low heat
  6. Add finely chopped onion and a pinch of salt and sweat onions with frequent stirring until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add broth to saucepan and bring to a low simmer.
  8. Add peas to saucepan and cook for another 5-10 minutes or until peas are softened.
  9. Puree soup in a blender until smooth, stir in parmesan cheese, and adjust seasoning as necessary.
  10. Garnish with tender pea shoots and serve immediately with crusty buttered baguette.

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