Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Our Lady of Peas

Last season, I read an article in Edible Memphis, a local foodie publication, about the elusive lady pea – a delicate, hard-to-find relative of the common black-eyed pea. It was late in the summer at the time, and any crop of lady peas that may have been available was likely long, long gone. So I waited a full year before I could put this bowl on my dinner table:

This steamy soup of Lady Peas with Pearled Barley, Carrots, and Onions may be one of the most pleasurable foods I've had the joy of eating. As promised in the original article touting lady peas, these lovelies were as dainty as could be.

If peas were people, Lady Pea would be decked out in a lacy Victorian gown and elbow-length white gloves while her dirty white trash cousin Black-Eyed Peas sips Papst in a trailer park. That's the best way I can describe the complete difference in texture and taste.

The lady peas are the small green (and some off-white) bits in this spoon. The white pieces are actually barley.

The best part? I bought a bag of lady peas at the Clarksville Farmers Market (while visiting my boyfriend's parents over the weekend) for $2! In Memphis, market vendors charge $6 a bag because they know people are willing to shell (no pun intended) out the big bucks for the fancy lady pea. And now that I've had a taste, I think I'd pay the $6 as well.

27 comments:

Heikki said...

Looks and sounds delicious! Never heard of lady peas before. Hmm, maybe I'll order some and try to grow them next summer. Probably too cold for them here though...

VeggieGirl said...

I've never heard of lady peas before - they sound great (especially in that soup)!

Urban Vegan said...

Amen!

twoveganboys said...

This dish looks so good.

jennycestcake said...

Lady peas are so pretty! I love your title, too. The church/school across the street from our house is called "Our Lady of Peace". For some reason, though, every time I go to say it, I say "Old Lady Peace".

I really enjoyed your post today, especially the comparison between the refined, Victorian lady peas and her PBR-drinking black-eyed pea cousin. Ha ha ha!

VeganCowGirl said...

Give it up for the ladies! I love barley soup! Scrumpdidy.

Erin said...

I've never heard of lady peas either, but they sound great! The soup looks super tasty.

jessy said...

lady peas sound absolutely delightful! i think they're so pretty, and cute - and yummy looking! your soup looks sooooooooooooooooooo gooooooooood, Bianca! i've never had them before - but now i want to try them!

superw00t!

Cyn said...

That looks so good! I love barley in soup.

River said...

Your comparison of the lady pea and the black-eyed pea is hilarious! And the soup looks great!

Chelsea said...

That looks delicious! I love the close-up shot :)

Theresa said...

Hey, don't knock PBR! I saved a fair bit of money in uni by buying $5 12-packs of that liquid gold!

shellyfish said...

I made pea soup last night! But mine doesn't look as pretty as yours - yum!

Celine said...

lady peas? sounds so dainty and perfect.

Mihl said...

Yet another legume I never heard of:)

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

That spoon is calling out for me to eat it. May I go ahead and do so?

twoveganboys said...

The butternut squash chickpea stew is in the April 2008 issue of Vegetarian Times. If you do not have that issue, I can email you the recipe. Have a great weekend.

Krys

hollywoodmemphis said...

gurrrrl, dat look nazzzzty. sure you dont wont fried chicken to put some meat on ya bones? ima head over to Our Lady of Church's Chicken on Chelsea for lunch!

Sheridanna said...

You made the lady peas sound so human. I mean, they've got personality. You little literary artist, you. Soup looks delicious!

vegan addict said...

I like peas. And hey! I was traveling via an airplane last weekend, and I was reading the airplane magazine, and there were little features on different cities in the US, and there was one on Memphis. And so, I am reading about this pizza place, and the article mentioned a vegan option, and I thought "Weird, they put the word vegan in an airplane magazine? Cool!" And then I saw the name Bianca at the end of the article, and I wondered, "Is that Vegan Crunk Bianca?" I know you write stuff, was it you?! I got all excited... Sorry...!!!!!!

Breedale said...

That soup looks awesome! See yet again you have taught me something I didn't know. Lady Peas, the name fits perfectly. I bet that soup tastes as good as it looks. I envy you and your soup! Keep up the good work.

Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

Bianca, I now have a vivid image of lady versus black eyed peas, thanks to your creative writing! I've never had these! They look very tasty.

Maureen said...

$2--what a steal! I'll keep my eyes peeled for lady peas from now on.

The Voracious Vegan said...

Wow, this soup looks amazing. I love the pictures.

Happy Herbivore! said...

I have a huge bag of barley that I've been dying to use in a soup! Barley, carrots, peas?! goodness yes!

Anonymous said...

Please send me the soup recipe! It's Lady peas season now.

K. said...

Please send me the recipe, too, if you can. I just got some of these peas at the farmer's market this morning (not cheap, but I had to have them!) and this soup looks sooooo good. Thanks!