Pea Pod Broth

Pea Pod Broth

So much of cooking, especially preserving, is born of necessity. It’s always disturbed me that we didn’t use the pods left from shelling peas. Their skins dense with pea flavor, it seemed a wasted opportunity to just chuck them in the compost. I’d been meaning to experiment with vegetable stocks — both for flavor and as a way to make use of vegetable scraps — and it wasn’t too far a leap to consider making one based on pea pods.

Pea Pod Broth

The peas, after blanching, are packed up and frozen for later use. As for the pods, this simple recipe from Anna Thomas’ Love Soup came closest to what I was imagining — a clear infusion that’s versatile to cook with and could be stored through canning.

Pea Pod Broth

The base is a classic triumvirate of aromatics — onion, carrots and celery. As we soon found, stocks made solely from vegetables demand a light hand, the delicate balance easily altered by strong flavors. A sprig of thyme added a savoriness that will be welcome come winter, but could be left out for lighter summer dishes. Given what we had on had, we used tiny purple bulblets and stalks from our patch of walking onions, and added a couple of garlic scapes to the mix. We left the pea pods whole and, to extract more flavor, cut the remaining vegetables into small pieces. Another tip is to make sure to start with cold water — vegetables release flavor at differing temperatures — and add enough to barely cover the vegetables as they’ll reduce in bulk during cooking.

The pleasing results from this test batch was surprising, given the short cooking time. One doesn’t usually associate making stock as a summer activity, however, the impact on flavor by using vegetables while they’re fresh and in season makes it a worthwhile endeavor.

Pea Pod Broth
Pods from 3 pounds peas, rinsed
1 large yellow or white onion, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 to 6 garlic scapes, chopped (optional)
A few sprigs flat-leaf parsley
A sprig of thyme (optional)
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
A few peppercorns
3½ quarts cold water

– Place ingredients in an 8-quart stockpot. Bring the water to a boil, lower the heat to medium, and let the broth simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.
– Strain the broth, and discard/compost the vegetables. Adjust salt to taste. Let cool before storing in the refrigerator for one week, or freeze.

Adapted from “Stone Soup” by Anna Thomas.

Pea Pod Broth

To process (from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving): Ladle hot stock into hot jars, leaving 1-inch headspace. Process pints 30 minutes, quarts 35 minutes, at 10 pounds pressure in a steam-pressure canner.

Local ingredients: Peas from Riverside Farm; carrots from Touching Earth Farm; celery from Shagbark Farm; parsley from Meadow’s Mirth; garlic scapes, walking onions, and thyme from the garden.

Freezing Green Peas, National Center for Home Food Preservation
Pea Pod Broth, Farmer Dave’s
7 tips for full-flavoured vegetable stocks, Stone Soup

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16 Responses to Pea Pod Broth

  1. What a clever idea. I just love your food preservation posts.

  2. Darya says:

    I love this! I have only started making pea pod broth this spring, and I am so pleased I did! I used it with risi e bisi, and it added so much flavor! I just got 2 kilos of local peas, and I will certainly be making more broth!

    • leduesorelle says:

      I know, don’t know what took me so long to figure this one out! And perfect for risi e bisi, one of my favorite ways to celebrate pea season!

  3. GrafixMuse says:

    What a great idea! I always felt it was such a waste to just dump the pea jackets into the compost pile. Now I know how to make use of them.

    • leduesorelle says:

      The great thing is that it’s opened the way to experimenting with all sorts of vegetable broths!

  4. If I’m ever stranded on an island, I want you to be there with me. :-)

    • leduesorelle says:

      That’s the sweetest thing, thanks! I always think I’d be the first one voted off the island — near-sighted, allergic to mosquitoes, far from outdoorsy — but I do have a skill or two… ;)

  5. Liz says:

    That is a great idea. I make stock all the time but get very stuck in my ways using the same veg combinations. I will definitely try pea pods now. I can see how it would work well.

    • leduesorelle says:

      This helped me to overcome the misperception that vegetable stocks are watery and tasteless, and was surprised how fast and easy it is to make a flavorful one!

  6. Amber says:

    So cool! A wonderful idea :)

  7. Great idea! Have you tried the stock yet to see how you like it?

  8. Simona says:

    Very nice. I like to have both vegetable and chicken broth on hand. Love the photo with the jars.

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