On a hot day, I want a cold pureed soup. This one goes down almost like a green smoothie, but I turn it into a meal by holding out some of the peas, mashing them with feta, and spreading it on thin toast as if it were the world’s largest crouton. (There’s a fine line between a smoothie and a cold soup; it’s mostly a matter of the serving vessel and the garnish, isn’t it?) By the way, I don’t recommend low-fat or nonfat yogurt here, because the result can be slightly chalky rather than silky.
11/2 cups freshly shelled English peas (may substitute thawed frozen peas)
2 tablespoons crumbled feta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 slices baguette or 1 large slice bread, toasted
8 large mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 cup plain whole-milk Greek-style yogurt
1 ice cube
Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil, then blanch the peas until bright green and tender but not mushy, no more than a few minutes. Drain and let cool.
Remove 1/4 cup of the peas and combine them in a small bowl with the feta. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, mash with a fork, and spread on the toast.
Reserve a pinch each of the mint and chives for garnish. Combine the rest with the remaining 11/4 cup of peas, the yogurt, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a blender, add the ice cube, and blend until very smooth and frothy. Add a little water if needed to thin the soup. Taste and add salt as needed. Pour into a bowl, sprinkle with the reserved chopped mint and chives, and eat with the pea and feta toast.
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—Mollie Katzen, author of The Moosewood Cookbook and The Heart of the Plate
“Joe Yonan is a kindred spirit; he too is a meat lover who’s embarked on a vegetable-forward adventure and made more room for plants on the plate. But he’s done much more in Eat Your Vegetables: Joe invites us along for a delicious ride that includes the highs and lows of edible gardening and the joy of cooking for one (with smart, practical tips for managing leftovers and minimizing food waste), wrapped in an impassioned plea to get off the couch and—yes!—into the kitchen.”
—Kim O’Donnel, author of The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations and The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook
“It’s hard to write inspired recipes that are simple, but that’s just what Joe Yonan has done in Eat Your Vegetables. In addition to good food, Joe offers great advice for anyone looking to cook more often and more successfully. Read his essay on how to use a recipe and you will become a better cook even before you get into the kitchen.”
—Jack Bishop, Editorial Director, America’s Test Kitchen, and author of Vegetables Every Day
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—David Lebovitz, author of Ready for Dessert and The Sweet Life in Paris