Photography by Tracey Creed
Assisted by Amandine Paniagua
Recipe by Amandine Paniagua and Tracey Creed
Words by Tracey Creed
Published August 15 2019
Updated November 21 2019
In a large pot, heat your oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Next, add the 2 cups of water, peas, broccoli, vegetable stock and coriander seeds. Bring back up to a boil, and let simmer, uncovered, approximately 20 minutes or so.
Allow the peas to cool slightly before transferring to your blender. You could also use a hand or immersion blender. In batches blend until you have reached your desired consistency. Taste and adjust with more salt and lots of black pepper. Thin with more water if needed.
You can, of course, serve the soup immediately or chill in the fridge, it was in part intended to be ideal for meal prep. Leftovers will keep for up to 4 days.
I don’t care much for overly complicated meals, there are occasions for that, but everyday eating and cooking, I seldom find the time for complicated. I don’t think many people do either. Most nights I am uninterested with being in the kitchen for more than a half hour, there are other people that need to use it and I usually have editing or copywriting that cannot wait. And so pea soup is for every day, for full days because cooking can be straightforward, it needs to be. Food that can be quite simple, beautifully unpretentious. Or at least that is what I want my photographs to speak to.
I don’t typically like to talk about food as being cheap, that sort of language tends to reduce the importance of which we speak of food. But the fact is, this meal is that cost-effective, this soup cost me around $7, and it came at a time when I was needing to consider more carefully what I spent on food, or more accurately, on what foods that money was spent. This meal speaks more to the point that if you have a need to make compromises elsewhere in your food budget for good quality vegan protein sources like organic tempeh, tofu or pea protein then meals like this can help to reduce your grocery bill in some areas to prioritise spend elsewhere. The resultant pea soup is better than good and beautifully unpretentious, it is blended peas after all. Just add toasted sourdough bread. And while the title implies this soup might be best served chilled, it is as good served straight from the blender - hot. And if you’re wanting to incorporate this meal as part of your meal prep regimen, I use these 4-cup Pyrex containers for holding lunch, dinners, more substantial meals. They’re ideal for soup. These are glass and come with nicely fitting lids. I prefer glass and opt to avoid plastic for food storage.
There is a misconception that veganism, plant-based diets are expensive and in that regard, the vegan food movement has a class issue. In reality, the vegan food movement is incredibly diverse and also misrepresented and so we need to acknowledge how media we consume funnels our worldview, the algorithms that curate a narrow version of ‘reality' that we receive and that have shaped our views so far. Açaí bowls are wonderful but that is not for everyone, you are either going to have the money or the interest for it or not and I think a lot of people are tired of that. I am more interested now in creating meals from the simplest of ingredients, beans, chickpeas, lentils, rice - accessible foods. I wanted to approach veganism with the cultural logic of pragmatism, with what is practical. Creating food that anyone could identify with. Because good food is the common ground between different cultures, case in point, the global ubiquity of avocado on toast. We all eat.
Make time for good food. Make your own soup.
And it is Jonathan Kauffman’s “Hippie Food”, that will deepen your understanding of culture, of how 1960s unconventional food movements and counterculture brought health food faddism; ethical vegetarianism; and a post- ”Silent Spring” critique of industrialised food and farming to the mainstream. Much of the food that dominates our culture today; tofu, tempeh and avocado sandwiches were radical novelties before 1970. Vinyl has also experienced a similar resurgent interest. This counterculture transformed much more than; it also changed the way we grow our food and how we think about purchasing and consuming it. Frances Moore Lappe’s “Diet for a Small Planet”, originally published in 1971 writes that the problem “wasn’t how much food the earth could produce, it was what we did with it”. And much of that narrative today is centred on waste, on the inefficiencies of animal agriculture and that our eating has moral, ethical and political implications - that we can change the world by changing the way we shop, cook and eat.
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