Introduction: Sweet Pea and Lavender Soup

About: Everything needs a garnish. Let's talk food! Follow me on Twitter: @garnishgirl

This soup tastes like quintessential spring. The flavors sound odd, but you'll find them in your frozen section or container garden. On its own, it would be a great starter to a brunch. Whether hot or cold, this soup will serve you well at a garden party with your favorite gourmands.

As a side note, as fancy as this soup sounds, it passed the Meat-and-Potatoes Man Test. I tried it out first on my husband. Then, when he declared it dinner-worthy, we served it to our college housemate, who happened to bring over some scones. Scones and this soup pair perfectly.

Serves 4.
Total time: 20 minutes

Step 1: Ingredients

You will need:

-2 3" sprigs of lavender
-3 cups, or 1 lb, sweet peas (one bag if frozen)
-1/2 an onion
-1/4 cup half and half
-1 teaspoon olive oil, plus extra for garnish
-1 teaspoon kosher salt

Step 2: Ingredient Prep

Thaw the peas, if necessary. I used my microwave for two and a half minutes until the peas were cold but not frozen. You can also put your peas on the counter for an hour.

Or, if using peas from the garden, shell 3 cups worth.

Slice your onion in 1/2 along the root, and peel one half. Slice it perpendicular from the root, in thin slices, then mince it finely.

Remove the lavender from the stalk.

Finally, heat 1 t olive oil in a nonstick pan, on medium low.

Step 3: Cook the Soup

Add the minced onions to the oil and stir. They cook quickly. Just when the edges brown, add your peas. Give them a good stir for a minute or so.

Then, add 3 cups water. Bring the heat up to a strong simmer. Let it reduce, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

While the soup is cooking, add the half and half, the lavender leaves, and 1 t kosher salt to the blender.

Step 4: Finish the Soup

Add the hot ingredients, carefully, to the blender. It's easier to scoop in the peas, then pour in the liquid.

Cover, and start with the PULSE setting. Then, switch to your lowest setting for PUREE. On high, this soup becomes an aerated vegetable milkshake.

You'll know the soup is ready when it is an even green, and no lavender is visible. Stop the blender and give it a taste.

If the soup is too thin for your liking, it thickens up with a short simmer on the stove top. Be careful not to raise the temperature to a full boil, to avoid breaking the half and half.

When the soup is as thick as you'd like it, pour it into soup bowls. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, and serve.