The Taste of Pea Shoots — Le goût des pousses de petits pois

pea shoots

I have a long history of cleaning peas. When I was a kid, my summers were filled with afternoons spent cleaning peas with my mum. I am not sure why, but my brother always seemed to be exempt of the task.

We liked to clean the peas under the canopy on the terrace at the back of the house. I had a preferred way to perform the task: a sieve stuck between my legs to collect the pods and one placed on the small table next to me to collect the peas — when I was not gulping them down, which was quite hard since I loved them this way. Each pea dropped in my mouth was pure joy when it released its sweet juice on my tongue. I think this could still be my favorite way to eat peas, in fact.

But I don’t recall that we kept the pods for anything though.

What a waste now that I think about it!

Do you recycle your pea pods too to flavor a vegetable broth?

What about pea shoots?

I like to eat them in a salad, or sautée them in a little oil in my wok, with shallot and sprinkled parsley to finish.

Or add them to a jardinière de légumes verts.

Or I use them to flavor a broth too, especially if I decide to make pea soup afterwards.

A Pea Broth Base

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot. When warm, add 1 chopped shallot and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Then add 1 diced leek (white part only) and 1 diced celery branch, and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Then add the pea pods (about 3 cups) or pea shoots (about 6 oz), and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes more. Then pour 6 cups cold water, and add 5 peppercorns and salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Stop the heat and add a few leaves of parsley and let infuse for 10 minutes before filtering the broth. Use the broth in a vegetable risotto or in a vegetable soup (pea for example).

I used mine in a pea, cucumber and avocado soup.

Quite seasonal, isn’t it?

Posted in Gluten Free, Soup, Vegetarian


  1. Hi, je me suis permis de parler de vous (et d’utiliser vos photos) sur mon blog – si, toutefois vous ne souhaitez pas figurez sur mon blog, n’hésitez pas à me le dire…
    Merci d’avance 🙂

  2. Where do you find all of your lovely props? Your silverware, plates, and backgrounds are always so pretty!

  3. i also love spring peas… i used to spend hours helping my mom peeling the pods… your photos look just gorgeous as always. The pea, avocado and cucumber soup looks so refreshing…

  4. What a great combo for a soup! I would never have thought of anything like that. Very creative!

  5. Wow, you’ve recycled alot with your ingredients. Very interesting. I agree,the pea,avocado and cucumber soup looks very refreshing :).

  6. I can’t believe it – I’m making pea soup later this week (with clear bowls too I think!). I would never have thought of this combination – neat idea. I love peas – but hate shelling them!

  7. I have great memories of shelling peas with my mother on the stairs in the back of the house, in the shade and I miss her jardiniere a lot these days! The soup looks fantastic!

  8. What a lovely idea! I love all the ingredients and I’m sure they work beautifully together.
    Ciao from South Italy (by the way, could you imagine a cloudy Sicily? No? Well today feels like winter!)

  9. Tes photos sont belles, la mise en scène et la vaisselle vraiment superbes, et en plus tes recettes de saison ont l’air excellentes, au goût comme pour la santé!

  10. Pingback: A Spring Vegetable Stew — Une jardinière de légumes verts by La Tartine Gourmande

  11. I have never thought about using pea shoots to make a broth. Everything looks delicious. Your photos are so beautiful!

  12. When i was little i used to help my mother with the peas too. To me that memory is something i always remenber with pleasure. Great photos!

  13. Thank you for making a summer version of pea soup! I love pea soup in the winter but this sounds like the refreshing version!

  14. would you mind sending me the recipe of the full cucumber pea avocado soup you have made? i’d be interested to see how you incorporated your stock into the soup.
    thank you

  15. Dak, I have to put my notes together, so the recipe is not yet available. Sorry!

    Many thanks again everyone!

  16. La premiere photo est si belle. Que c’est bon frais et cru, a grignotter comme des petits bonbons – ou presque.

  17. I’m a local–where are you finding fresh peas? Also, any hints as to when currants will be in season? I have a dogeared copy of your currant/lemongrass muffins but have been waiting ages for currants to show up in stores.

  18. Hi Joy,

    You can find fresh peas at Whole Foods (Fresh Pond location has some, as well as Newton from what I saw) as well as Russo’s. Wilson farm’s might be another option.

    As to currants, you will have to wait later in the month. Last year, I remember seeing them early in July. They came then from Washington.

  19. Bea, I just wanted to reiterate that I really like the direction you’ve taken your stying. Such beautiful details. I can really feel the time you’ve taken to tweak things and think about the final results and it shows: these are just lovely. I’m sure in no time your phone will be ringing off the hook with magazine’s wanting your services (if it’s not already!) Brilliant! An inspiration.

  20. New reader here(: Loving your blog, the pictures are gorgeous.

    I actually eat the pea pods. And they actually have a very refreshingly sweet flavour to them. Very crunchy and good in a stir fry.

  21. raw pea shoots with Israeli couscous, fresh tarragon, artichoke bottoms, and red peppers, in a vinaigrette — heaven.

  22. I love your photos and your blog, please can you put the recipe for the pea, avocado and cucumber soup on your blog. If it is already there I can’t find it!

  23. Great blog.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.