Chilled Pea Soup with Tarragon and Chives

Chilled Pea Soup with Tarragon and Chives. Option 2.

Chilled Pea Soup with Tarragon and Chives.

Sharing this post from the early days of Three Beans on a String since about three people saw it back then. Fresh peas are back in the farmer’s market.

On Sunday mornings I get up early, have a copy of coffee while I cruise Pinterest and eat my usual breakfast — a veggie omelet and half a grapefruit – and I head out the door for the Baltimore Farmer’s Market and Bazaar. As a friend pointed out dryly, “I see you’re going to your place of worship.” Guilty.

I love everything about this market. I love zipping into the city with ease while the streets are still sleeping. When I get there, the vendors at the entrance are still arranging paintings on blankets on the ground or hanging out bright skirts as if they barely made it out of bed but are glad to have made the effort. It’s still spring, so it’s chilly enough for jeans, a cardigan, and flip flops – a kind of sloppy uniform for me.

I love the smells of the market – kettle corn, smoked pork shoulder, chive dumplings, pastries, and Zeke’s Coffee. I love the diversity of the marketgoers – the preppy mothers with their oxford cloth shirts, loafers and straw baskets, the ladies who are already dressed for church in bright purple or red dresses and tall hats, the chef types wearing kitchen clogs and piercings.

Atmosphere aside, the reason I come to the market every Sunday is that I can get good quality produce directly from the farmer who grew it at reasonable prices, often before the same items are available at grocery stores. What I can find at local markets often drives the menu for the week, and it nearly always determines what makes it into this blog.

This Sunday a line of customers wound its way about a quarter of the way through the market as folks waited their turn to purchase the first green peas of the season from farmer Tom McCarthy. Already and shelled and perfectly sweet, they were perfect for this chilled pea soup, made with tarragon and chives.

Flowering chives with their purple blossoms – also abundant during this time of year – are just lovely and were the inspiration for the photographs in this post. I’ve always loved lavender and bright green together.

Chilled Pea Soup with Tarragon and Chives
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Chilled pea soup with tarragon and chives is made with just a few ingredients to highlight the sweetness of fresh peas.
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6-8
  • 2 Tablespoons butter (use olive oil for vegan version)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 32-ounce cartons vegetable or chicken broth (8 cups)
  • 2 pounds fresh peas, shelled
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • Crème fraîche or sour cream (for garnish only - omit for vegan or paleo option)
  • Fresh tarragon leaves
  • Fresh chives
  1. Melt butter in stock pot over medium-low heat.
  2. Add onion and cook, stirring until tender, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add flour and stir 2 minutes.
  4. Add broth, peas, and chopped tarragon.
  5. Turn heat up to medium until broth begins to boil - then turn down to medium low again.
  6. Simmer until peas are very tender, about 15 minutes.
  7. Puree soup in two batches in blender.
  8. Transfer to medium bowl and refrigerate until well chilled.
  9. To serve, season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with a tablespoon of crème fraîche, chives, and tarragon leaves.

No Bake Strawberry Chambord Pie

No Bake Strawberry Chambord Pie

With strawberries already available in much of the country, I thought I’d share the recipe for this no bake pie, which I made last season from the first fresh strawberries that came in our CSA basket. If this recipe sounds familiar, it’s adapted from an old Cooking Light recipe, and it was the inspiration for our  Strawberry,… 

Read More »

Sunday Chicken with Carrots & Fennel

Sunday Chicken with Carrots and Fennel

The weather was so beautiful this afternoon – the wind low and gentle, the light liquid through the trees as I wound my way down a foot trail during a run after work. I never crave the outdoors more than I do during the first few weeks of spring, when warm days are like a… 

Read More »

Indian Spiced Chicken with Spring Vegetables |

Indian Spiced Chicken with Spring Vegetables

What’s not to love about asparagus? It tastes like green and sunlight. By the time it starts to show up at markets here in Maryland, I’ve been pining for it for weeks, inspired by countless photos of California-grown asparagus that show up on the pages on Bon Appetit, Saveur and Cooking Light starting in March. This… 

Read More »

Honeyed Orange Marmalade from

Honeyed Orange Marmalade

Last week was completely bizarre – like it just rained frogs at the end of Magnolia bizarre.  To make up for it I spent a luxuriously slow weekend  putzing around the kitchen and sitting outside in the Adirondack chairs reading while we smoked a turkey. It’s that time of year when the sun is just warm enough for a… 

Read More »

Seared Scallops with Pea Puree and Mint Gremolata

Seared Scallops with Pea Purée and Mint Gremolata

The boys and I  just returned yesterday morning from an action-packed and mercifully warm week in Orlando. We all loved Universal – particularly the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the wild Transformers 3D dark ride. In comparison Disney seemed dated and overly focused on various princesses, though H.T. loved the baby gorillas at Animal Kingdom and we all… 

Read More »

Introducing the Pale Island Sky, a cocktail with freshly squeezed Ruby Red grapefruit juice, vodka, Patron orange liqueur and coconut water.

The Pale Island Sky: A Grapefruit Crush Cocktail

I’m in L-O-V-E with this pretty cocktail, which I’ve named the Pale Island Sky for its sunrise-over-the-ocean color.  Served in traditional cocktail glasses over crushed ice, it’s the most refreshing thing I’ve tasted in a long time. Anyone who knows me very well knows grapefruit is one of my very favorite things – I tend… 

Read More »

Spicy Korean Cod Soup

Spicy Korean Cod Soup

Every year for St. Patrick’s Day J. and a friend of his do a bus tour of Baltimore’s Irish bars with his friend’s dad and several older gentlemen, many of them retired Baltimore City police officers. I drop him off in Ellicott City and he climbs on the bus wearing something green, and when I… 

Read More »

Mustardy Kale Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Bacon

Mustardy Kale Salad with Bacon & Sweet Potatoes

  Today, I’m posting our first ever — drumroll please — original video! It’s a little 3 minute clip with step-by-step instructions for our featured recipe, Mustardy Kale Salad with Bacon and Sweet Potatoes. The entire video was produced, filmed and edited by my 10-year-old, J.B. on my iPhone, in our tiny kitchen. I’m pretty… 

Read More »

Slow Cooker Apple Butter BBQ Chicken

A Week of Healthy Gourmet Meals

See all of our weekly menus here. I’m getting ready to set our clocks back tomorrow night for daylight savings, something I usually associated with sunlight and warmer weather. Only it doesn’t feel like’s it time yet, as much as I want to see the crocuses poke their little heads up from the ground. On… 

Read More »

Portabella Philly Cheese Steaks

Portobello Philly Cheesesteaks

Because my family’s diet is focused primarily on locally sourced-vegetables and lean protein, I’m always looking for ways to give classic American dishes a healthy makeover. It’s been years since I had an authentic Philly Cheesesteak, but – oh- the gooey, cheesy goodness is unforgettable. There’s a lot of debate about what a real cheesesteak is, but according to… 

Read More »