And so I certainly hope that you won't think my affections for you have waned when you discover that I have no witty, arresting, or amusing anecdote to accompany this soup. No musings about my childhood, major life milestones, gut-wrenching confessions, or elegant epiphanies lie ahead. I am not about to shamefully confess that as a young girl I had a shocking hatred of peas, and that somehow this recipe turned me around, changing my life forever.
It's just soup. That is all.
But I am happy to report that, if I do say so myself, it's an eminently slurpable one. The secret? Sweet fresh peas and pungent garlic tahini sauce. That, and the yogurt, fresh tarragon, and crispy tofu croutons. And I don't want to hear a word about how you don't like tofu. I'll scarf down on sausage and bacon as much as the next gal, but tofu has its place as well. Like, for example, plopped on top of this luscious little soup.
Here's what to do: First, squeeze the water out of a brick of extra firm tofu and cut into cubes. Marinate in olive oil, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Next make the garlic tahini sauce. This is just a classic Middle Eastern tarator sauce: 6 cloves of garlic, mashed with salt with a mortar and pestle, combined with an emulsification of 1/2 cup tahini, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 3-4 tbsp water, and 1 heaping tbsp of chopped parsley. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a soup pot, saute one small diced onion in olive oil until translucent. Add one pound of fresh peas (you can substitute frozen only if absolutely necessary) and cover, plus an additional two inches, with vegetable or chicken broth. Simmer until tender. Puree with an immersion blender. Temper one cup of Greek yogurt with the hot soup and combine. Lower the heat and add one heaping tablespoon of fresh chopped tarragon and the zest of one lemon. Salt and pepper to taste.
Now fry the tofu in a high smoke point oil until crispy. The soup can be served hot or at room temperature, garnished with a teaspoon of the garlic sauce swirled into the soup and topped with the tofu croutons.
Perfection! See? Not everything needs a story. I now let the soup speak for itself: