For many years, I was cooking for retreats given by an international non-profit foundation that taught meditation. We would move from one location to another around the globe and arrive in a new kitchen with completely unknown setups and food supplies. To take care of that first night and cook for the set-up staff, I had a particular soup up my sleeve. I could always get the ingredients and it was always warm, nourishing and delicious. It was First Night Pea Soup.

You basically cook some frozen peas and add just enough of a creamy liquid to be able to blend - cream, half-and-half, coconut milk, or coconut cream. Add salt, pepper, a dash or two of tamari and fresh or dried thyme and voila – a delicious soup ready in moments. One secret ingredient I just discovered goes well with this recipe is Mirin – a Japanese cooking wine. Just a few drops will do. It adds this mysterious back flavor of umami – a brightness that you can’t put your finger on but that you love.

Serve it with topping choices like crème fraiche, sour cream or yogurt, croutons, diced fresh tomatoes, a sprig of mint - or all of them. Add a salad and the crustiest bread you can find, and you have a really lovely meal.

There are no exact measurements to this soup. Take a moment before you start cooking – close your eyes and connect with a quiet place inside where inspiration lives. Then keep tasting after each ingredient is added and let that guide you. I never make this soup the same way twice. But I will offer you a general guide to amounts that you can then adjust to your taste.

So simple. So Delicious. So homey.

Gluten free. Can be Vegan or vegetarian depending on the liquids [cow or coconut] that you choose to add.

Ingredients for 2 Servings:

  • Frozen peas – 10-ounce package cooked according to package instructions
  • Cream, half-and-half, coconut milk, coconut cream or whatever creamy liquid you have on hand – ½ cup
  • Fresh or dried thyme to taste – start modestly because this is a strong flavor that can take over
  • Dash or two of tamari
  • Dash of Mirin [optional]
  • Salt and Pepper

Don't forget the toppings for each person to choose from! Crème fraiche, sour cream or yogurt, croutons, diced fresh tomatoes, a sprig of mint, or all of the above.