FFWD – Cheating-on-Winter Pea Soup

Pea Soup. Olive drab in a pretty blue bowl.

A few years ago, the Vancouver Art Gallery exhibited a piece called Ought Apartment, which consisted of a stack of apartments reaching up through the centre of the building. Each apartment was decorated in the style of a particular decade, right down to the knickknacks and the contents of the drawers and cabinets. So many of the objects (and decorating schemes) resonated for me. The fifties apartment had the same sort of ceramic fish that my grandparents hung in their bathroom, there were some questionable young adult design choices in the eighties/nineties range, and so on up through to the millenium. It was the seventies apartment that fascinated me the most – it replicated the landscape (or carpetscape, anyway) of my childhood.

Why am I telling you all this in a post that’s supposed to be about pea soup? It’s all in the colour. The olive drab of the soup was a dead ringer for the avocado green of the kitchen appliances of my youth. The house that I grew up in had orange shag carpet in the living room, and olive green appliances in the kitchen. It may seem horrible now, but in the seventies it was de rigueur. Just as Ought Apartment had, this week’s soup carried me back.

What it didn’t do was carry me back to the taste of my mother’s pea soup, which is a solidly French Canadian split pea and ham bone affair. It’s delicious, but so was this soup, made with frozen green peas and romaine lettuce and relying on nothing more than salt, pepper, and softened onions for additional flavour. I couldn’t help myself – I added thyme and a clove of garlic to the onions, a minute or two before adding the vegetable stock. My vegetable stock was almost the colour of beef broth, I think because it has some tomato paste added to it, which might explain the colour of my soup. Others have reported their soups were a bright emerald green. No matter the colour, this soup does remind me of a summer soup, even though it’s also warming and rich enough for a cold spring evening. I’d like to take another run at this recipe when it’s truly summer, with fresh peas and mint. That might bring on another attack of memories, this time of shelling peas and shucking corn for family barbeques, but I’ll deal with it when it happens.

You can find many other blogged descriptions of this week’s FFWD recipe here: Cheating-on-Winter Pea Soup


20 thoughts on “FFWD – Cheating-on-Winter Pea Soup

  1. You mean our posts are supposed to be about the food we are cooking? Since when? I remember my best friend Chris MacQuorie’s mom got a new refrigerator in that color and I was so jealous. It even matched the trim on the stovetop. Attack of the memories indeed.

  2. At one point we owned a olive green refrigerator too. When we moved into our new home back in 1977, we had selected burnt orange carpeting for our family room. Pretty at that time,
    but doesn’t work for me now. Your soup looks good, unfortunately, this was not a favorite. I am
    looking forward to the upcoming lentil soup this month.

  3. My parents had an orange and green kitchen as well – vegetable wall paper and green and orange carpeting. No colored appliances though. Those were the days! Somewhere in the late 80’s/ early 90’s, it was remodeled in shades of mauve and mint green and white.
    A summer-ized version of this soup sounds intriguing.

  4. I’m waiting for those 70s colors to return! I remember raking the green shag carpet and all the green appliances in my parent’s home but I think your soup has a way nicer color!

  5. Ahhhhh…the Avocado appliances of the 70’s….funny how colors can take us back in time.
    This was a lovely soup…we all enjoyed it! However my husband prefers the slow simmered pea soup with the ham bone. I loved that it was light and fresh tasting!

  6. My mom was so excited when she moved into her home with avocado green appliances! The broth made a big difference in the color of the soup for all of us. I think they’re all good regardless of the color!

  7. In my house it was about big flower upholstery and wooden furniture. But I can well imagine this olive green in the 70´s. And I guess split pea and ham will always be a great pea soup compared to this rather spring-y one! It was good.

  8. lol – drab olive green in the kitchen! Only in our house, it wasn’t the appliances, it was the containers for pantry goods like flour and sugar. And now they’re taking up space on my counter in my kitchen! 😉 Maybe it’s not the prettiest soup, but the story you tell make it look downright fab!

  9. We had the orange shag carpet in our family room. Our kitchen appliances were turquoise though (house built in mid-60’s). It’s all about the memories, isn’t it Teresa? And food is so good at triggering them, our whole life long. Have a great weekend!

  10. At the time, appliances that had color rather than white enamel or stainless steel were considered very cool. Another era, to be sure. And, do you remember the food we were eating in the 70s and 80s? Your soup looks delicious. I notice you didn’t strain yours. I did and I think I lost some flavor by doing that. I will make this again, just as you said, but will tweak it a bit to make it more flavorful. I thought of adding garlic also and will probably do that.

  11. The Oight Apartment sounds fascinating, Teresa. Your soup looks delicious and being a military brat I am very familiar with that color green. I also added a clove of garlic in with the onion and we enjoyed this so much. It would be nice to try this with fresh peas and mint for a summer soup. Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

  12. Love it. When my parents moved into their house they had the shag carpeting pulled up, but somehow forgot about the closet. Which means that to this day, my closet at home still has dark orange shag carpeting. I hated it for a while, but over time it grew on me.

  13. Teresa, really enjoyed reading your blog post – I have tasted French Canadian split pea soup with ham and loved it (it reminded me of the hearty version of pea soup that we cook around here) but I agree with you that this was quite a different and tasty pea soup and I am sure that it will be truly delightful with fresh peas when they become available.
    Have a good week!

  14. This soup was a surprise hit in my home. My expectations were low since I am not a fan of peas. I will go for a thicker version next time and my guys definitely want a “next time”. Dorie inspired me to play around with more soups as this was truly easy and tough for me to rationalize not having time to try. Apologize for the late comment- I had too much fun running around seeing the Barefoot Contessa and cooking and ended up with a miserable cold (but it was worth it). And thanks for the trip down memory lane. I too grew up in the 70’s and tried to block many of the designs I grew up with, yet retro is cool again indeed……

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