Depending on where you live, peas might just be popping up or it might be the tail end of the season, as they fade into tomatoes and peppers and eggplants. It's been cold in the Northeast and the peas around here are just hitting their peak. Snap peas, fava beans, and English peas are all taking over our garden and the farmer's markets.
When peas are in season, they're tender and sweet and not very starchy - you can eat them raw (like in smashed pea toast, below), lightly blanched or sautéed, or blended into a bright green soup. When I was making this soup, I was just popping them into my mouth cause they've got that sweet, green earthiness that embodies Spring and all things new and lovely.
It might seem a little annoying to shuck them, but it's worth it. Just peel open the pods and pop out the peas. You can make a light pea-flavored broth by covering the pods in water and bringing it to a boil. Don't forget you can ALSO eat the pea leaves / tendrils and their white or purple flowers - the flowers are great raw in a salad and the leaves can be lightly sautéed or poached in broth. Whole vegetable cooking, ya'll.
Here's three super simple ways we used English peas this week.
Pro-tip: if you're overwhelmed with peas, lightly blanch them in water, and freeze for later. The soup can be made with frozen peas.