This is a refreshing hot-weather soup. Most supermarkets have a good supply of fresh peas, which are quite large by French standards but are often tender and tasty. Choose very fresh and smooth pea pods, because you will use the pods also for this soup.
Wash the peas and shell them. Keep all the pods that are firm and green. Snap and pull each pod as you would tough celery fibers, and discard the transparent linings. Prepare the croutons, cutting them into triangles.
Peel and chop the onions, carrots, and salt pork. Heat the peanut oil in a cast-iron pan. Add the chopped ingredients, the bouquet garni, peas and pods. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and cook for 30 to 40 minutes. Add sugar and salt and pepper to taste.
Just before serving, remove the bouquet garni, add the olive oil, and garnish with the croutons.
If you want a more elegant soup, pass it through a Mouli food mill to make a fragrant, velvety crème de petits pois. Garnish it with croutons, cut in cubes. Frozen peas are acceptable for this version of the soup.
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