Recipe: First Night Pea Soup

By Shyamala Littlefield
Published: February 18, 2019 | Last updated: April 10, 2019
Key Takeaways

Warm, nourishing and delicious, First Night Pea Soup is a great meal to help you find your happy place.

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.


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Written by Shyamala Littlefield | Wedding Officiant and Home Cook

Shyamala Littlefield

Shyamala comes to her work of performing weddings and sacred rituals in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond [] after thirty years of studying and serving in Ashrams in the United States and in India. For many years during that time, she cooked for thousands of people at meditation retreats all over the world and now brings that training of cooking as a meditation practice to delicious recipes that support a yogic lifestyle. We will soon be seeing her recipes collected in a cookbook and in a vlog series on YouTube: Welcome to Blue Light Kitchen – Home Cooking For Yogis.


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