Chilled Parsley and Pea Soup

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What I am about to say should not be misconstrued as a complaint: Copenhagen is hot. Like, temperature hot.

This time of year I am almost always in Canada enjoying the summer sun and consistently high temperatures, so I had forgotten that this city could actually be quite warm. What a thrilling surprise, as I am a heat-seeking monster.

It’s so sultry in fact that I had to make a cold soup yesterday, something that I very rarely endeavour because it is so rarely weather appropriate in these Nordic parts. But the thought of eating anything above air temperature was a total no-go.

I had just cycled back from the garden with a huge bunch of parsley and needed to put it to good use. Although I am so very fond of the combining peas with mint, I thought I should head down a less traveled path and I was rewarded with a most surprising discovery: peas and parsley are total buddies!

After a quick blitz of heat to take the raw edge off the peas and a serious blend up, the peas and parsley turned into a silky smooth puree that was absolutely delicious, and even better after chilling in the fridge for 24 hours. The flavours all melded together and became richer, more complex and totally refreshing. For such a teeny amount of kitchen work and so few ingredients, I’d say this is one simple summer soup I’ll be making again and again.

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Parsley: Beyond the Garnish
My relationship to parsley prior to becoming interested in health and cooking, was merely as a garnish. In fact, I used to work at a very low-vibe café where most of the food was frozen and simply reheated for customers (oh, how things have changed), but before the plates of predominant beige-ness were served, a sprinkling of minced parsley was showered across to “liven” things up. That is what I thought parsley was for.

If you’ve noticed the way I use herbs now, it is not in fact for making something long dead look alive, it is for flavour. Major flavour. And I don’t usually throw in a tablespoon either – my general rule of thumb for herbs is, the more the better. Notice how this recipe is called Parsley and Green Pea Soup? Yea. Parsley comes first. I am not messing around here.

The other bonus of bumping up the flavour in foods with fresh herbs is the health benefits. Parsley is a superstar when it comes to antioxidant content, boasting a wealth of vitamin C, disabling free radicals in all water-soluble areas of the body. Because high levels of free radicals contribute to many imbalances and progression of disease, consuming foods high in vitamin C can reduce the risk of conditions such as atherosclerosis, colon cancer, diabetes and asthma.

Parsley also contains high amounts of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene works in the fat-soluble areas of the body reducing inflammation and therefore helping to alleviate conditions such as asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

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70 comments

  1. Laura

    Sarah, I just made this soup for the first time this year (many times last year!) and thought I should let you know how much I love it. I even had to make it without the lemon zest/juice today because I was out of lemons…and still, AMAZING.

    Pretty sure I’ve said this before, but thank you SO much for making whole foods so accessible and delicious. Your recipes have honestly been a major factor in helping me change the way I eat…and being confident in making delicious, healthy meals. I have so many favourites of yours! (Hello, Raw Tacos). Anyways. End gush-fest here. Thanks again :)

  2. Pingback: Parsley and Pea Soup – Revisited | An American in Antwerp
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  12. Miriam

    Fantastic recipe! I often make a ‘green’ soup but always find it needs a whole lot of stock/salt to be as tasty as it should but this needed no more than the recipe allowed for…and it was absolutely delicious. Perhaps it was the coconut oil which I have only just started using!

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  16. Michelle

    Wow! This soup was shockingly delicious! I’m trying to convert two carnivorous meat-and-potatoes kids to a more meat-is-an-occasional-garnish lifestyle and they loved it! They wanted it chunky so my 12 year old daughter suggested adding cabbage after it’s souped-up. Thanks for the delicious recipe!

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  20. Margle

    Delicious flavour! I learned a lesson to follow the recipe more closely too. You must ONLY use the leaves of the parsley. I left a bit too much stem on and there was no way I could blend it down to a nice consistency and the stems got wrapped around my blender blades. Ah, my kingdom to be able to afford a vitamix one day.

  21. Lana

    Delicious Recipe!! I followed this recipe to a tee mid-afternoon, chilled, then served for dinner. Addicting. Definitely going to make this again!! Thanks!

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  23. Amanda @ Pickles & Honey

    I received a bunch of parsley in my CSA share this week and took it as a sign that I should make your soup last night. It turned out perfectly! I especially love the beautiful, bright green color. I’m looking forward to leftovers today!

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  25. Miranda

    Was also going to post a cautionary note about eating large amounts of parsley during pregnancy. Normal garnish / seasoning amounts are not generally a problem, but when you are getting up to the cups-and-cups amounts in tabouleh or in a recipe like this you might want to be careful. Sounds delicious, though! I will definitely try this one!

  26. Hayley

    I have made this twice already!
    Although I am eating it hot (it’s winter here in Oz!) it is amazing & addictive!
    The lemon/pea/parsley combination is magnificent!
    The second time around I used half parsley, half coriander & it worked well. Next time I’m going to try mint (as I have SO much in the garden).
    Thank you so much.. your recipes are great! :)

  27. Sarah b

    Making this now. Our crazy heat wave in Toronto seems to be over for the moment, but I’m excited to try this! Will dig in warm, and have the rest tomorrow cold for lunch :) do you have a vitamix? There’s no way I can get mine so smooth with my immersion blender. Not that I mind!

  28. Jana T

    Greeeeeen magic! I made this soup last weekend with the fresh French peas from the parents garden of my partner; I have right now (literally) tons of mint in my balcony-garden, so this is what I used instead of parsley; very happy that my better half liked it:and I have to say he is not at all a green-loving person at all, but he spooned his bowl away very quick so no chance for this cold soup to cool down,as we ate it right after making…THANKS a million!
    PS: with the rest of peas i made the pea-mint pesto, my fav nr1 for peas-usage!

  29. Christina

    Gorgeous! Not only the food, also your jewellery ;) May I ask you where you get it from- especially your rings? Thank you and have a nice summer!

  30. Grace

    Another gorgeous soup, love that it’s chilled! Can’t wait to make it!

    @Lee, looks like The Guardian link is fixed :)

  31. Lee

    Also on the guardian website, your name links to mynewroots.com and not mynewroots.org, you should get them to change it:)

  32. Lee

    Great recipe! I heard once that eating too much parsley can cause kidney stones? Do you know anything about this?

    Thanks!

  33. Ketmala Phoumalavong

    What a good looking soup Sarah and beautiful photo as always! I usually use parsley for my morning green smoothie these days when I don’t use kale, but I’ll have to give you cold soup a try soon with the heat wave we’ve been having here in Pennsylvania.

  34. Carmen Links

    Very nice dish. We used to go to Andersen’s in Cal for some great split pea soup, in fact they were famous for that soup. But fresh peas and parsley are certainly tastier and healthier. :)

  35. Elenore Bendel Zahn

    BAAAAAHHH – honey this was such a gorgeous and wonderful creation. Will savour the memory of eating it with you for a long time <3 ehm, in fact, I'll savour all those days together <3

    Love it!

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  37. Kelsey

    Wow! I love this idea. Our growing season is super delayed in the Midwest US this year, so not many sweet peas are up in our garden yet, but we DO have tons of parsley… I’ll have to go supplement with some farmer’s market sweet peas. Can’t wait.

    Sarah, I am reading Darya Pino Rose’s book right now and it keeps reminding me of you and your work and it makes me so happy!!!!!

  38. JOHANNE

    I love the Idea of adding a bunch of parsley to regular fresh pea soup. I use pests a lot and always have frozen cubes in my freezer to have it on hand at all times. I can’t wait to try it. probably I’ll make it for supper. Thanks for the idea.

  39. Laura-Ashley

    Well, I am living in Kigali, Rwanda and went to the market tonight, and staring me in the face was the freshest bowl of peas, and the most lovely looking parsley. So, 20 minutes later (literally), the soup is chilling in my fridge. Can’t wait to try it! Congratulations on your exciting news. Very happy for you and your partner.

  40. Rachel

    Wow Sarah, this is beautiful, I actually had all the ingredients in so have just made it and eaten it (couldn’t wait for it to cool down, my bf was starving) so, so good. I will certainly be making it again

  41. Linda

    Hi Sarah! Funnily enough here where I’m from, it’s the peas+mint combo that’s a bit more unusual, whereas peas+parsley is way more common: love it! One thing got me wondering though… I’m sure you know lots more than me about foodproperties but as far as I know from local folk remedies, parsley is no good during pregnancies at all as it can provoke abortion… don’t mean to freak you out, maybe it’s not like that at all but thought you might want to look into that just to be sure!

  42. Jo

    Lovely! I adore parsley too.. I planted loads this year so am always looking for more ways to use it! (I love it in juices too). Parsley and pea sounds like an amazing combo. Served with your ‘life changing loaf of bread’, I think I’m set! Thank you xx

  43. jessica

    it’s fun to see your reflection in the spoon! and i’m so glad it’s a warm summer in europe for you this year. i made the pea-mint-daikon roll-ups recently and took them on a campout(!). my friends were impressed, to say the least. so i’m excited to see what peas do with parsley.

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