This refreshing, moss-green soup from western Turkey, called bezelye corbast, combines tiny peas with cooling borage leaves and stalks, which taste like cucumber. Its peerless flavor is due to small young peas. Old peas, with too much starch, won’t yield as fine a result. In Turkey, the soup is generally served warm, but I prefer it chilled.
Think of this soup as a “basic black dress” you can gussy up with some whipped cream, or garnish by scattering some blue borage flowers on top, or simply enhance with a swirl of olive oil or pistachio oil blended with very young borage leaves.
2tablespoonsextra virgin olive oil
¼cup finely chopped young leek (white part only) or scallion
1½cups chopped fresh borage stalks and young leaves (see Note)
1package (10ounces) first-quality frozen petite peas
Pinches of sugar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Borage flowers, for garnish
Make the soup early in the day or the day before. Drain the yogurt in a paper towel-lined colander set over a bowl for 3 to 4 hours.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep saucepan. When it’s hot, add the leek, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook gently for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the borage stalks and leaves and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 2cups water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the peas and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat and add the sugar and salt and pepper. Let cool, then whirl in an electric blender or food processor with 1cup water until smooth. Strain through a sieve into a bowl, cover, and store in the refrigerator.
Place 2cups of the drained yogurt in a wide bowl; gradually whisk in the pea soup. Thin with ice water to the desired consistency. Correct the seasoning. Serve garnished with any remaining yogurt and borage flowers.