All Posts for July 2013

Chilled Pea Soup

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Note: My classmate Lois sent me an email with several chilled soups by Martha Rose Shulman. By coincidence, my neighbor had just given me one of her cookbooks that I had read long ago called Fast Vegetarian Feasts, so I am already familiar with her work. All the recipes can be viewed online at:‎.  Since I am on an Ayurvedic food plan (Ayurveda-Ancient healing system from India), I changed the spices to suit my program and also substituted baby kale for lettuce, since I am not fond of cooked lettuce.  ALso, I ate my soup at room temperature, because very cold food is not recommended in Ayurveda. Here is my version:

Utensils: Shallow saucepan, blender or food processor, cutting board & knife, measuring cup & spoons, large pot for cooling soup
Prep. Time: About 15-20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 minutes
Categories: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar Free


2 cups fresh or frozen organic peas (I used petite peas)
one tsp. olive oil or coconut oil
one small garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. minced ginger (if using ground, use 1/2 tsp.)
2-3 scallions, trimmed & chopped (white part & a little of the green stems)
2 cups loosely packed baby kale
one cup water or stock
one cup unsweetened coconut milk (or almond)
green herb for garnish, ex. parsley, dill, basil

Spices: (Note: Feel free to use a curry powder mixture)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. mustard seeds, ground
1/2 tsp. coriander seeds, ground
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
salt & pepper to taste (optional)


1. In a medium-sized, shallow saucepan, place olive oil or coconut oil and sauté ginger, garlic & scallions for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Add peas and kale* with water or stock & allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off heat & allow to cool for the blender.
*If you use regular kale, I would simmer separately, because it makes the cooking water somewhat bitter. Before starting with the shallow saucepan in #1, take a deeper saucepan and add torn kale to 2 cups water & simmer for about 10 minutes., and then drain, cool, and add to the blender. (Use the cooking water for your plants after it has cooled down.)

2. While the peas & kale are cooling, place one cup unsweetened coconut or almond milk in the blender. Add the spices and then the pea/kale mixture with the water and blend until smooth. (I was able to do this in one batch, but if you have a small blender, you may have to divide the mixture into two batches.)
Note:If you want to make this into a sauce instead of a soup, don’t use the water left from cooking the peas and the mixture will be thicker.

3. Transfer the soup to a large pot for faster cooling, and allow to chill. Serve with a sprig of parsley or dill or some basil leaves.
Note: This soup can be served hot or cold. Yield: About 3 cups

Variation: If you want a richer soup, you can use cream instead of almond or coconut milk. You can also use butter or ghee (clarified butter) instead of oil. Since I made this recipe vegan and dairy-free, I did not put these items as optional.

P.S. I decided to make the soup a second time, since I had already purchased mint for the original recipe in the NY Times.  I used vegetable stock that I had made previously, cooking the first cup with the peas & greens (I mixed arugula with baby kale since I was low on the kale) & herbs from my patio parsley, dill, basil, and savory (a sprig of each), added a sprig of mint I had purchased,  and using the second cup of stock to cool down the soup before blending. (I used an immersion blender for this batch.)  Very tasty! Thanx, Martha Rose Shulman for inspiring me to try chilled pea soup. (Again, I let my bowl come to room temp.)

Last Minute Posting from Breast Cancer Action: July 31st deadline

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

October is Breast Cancer Month but this message can’t wait from Breast Cancer Action. I just received it. See link below.

Will you take a moment to help stop cancer before it starts?

Tomorrow, July 31st, the U.S. Senate is holding a congressional hearing to consider the future of toxic chemical regulation. This hearing is a rare opportunity for us all to tell our Senators what meaningful toxic chemical regulation should look like.

Click here to go to to find your senators to send him or her this urgent message.

(When you go to their site, look for the red box on the left that says 7/30/13 with information on chemical reform update)

Demand that your Senators attend the hearing and support only the strongest regulation to protect all of us from toxic chemicals. 
Take a moment to stop breast cancer before it starts.

After years of hard work, we are thrilled that chemical reform is finally a priority for the current Senate. Recent reform efforts have been both very promising and very disappointing but so far, nothing has been passed and no change enacted.

Act Now – Senators across the country are listening and need to hear from you. 
Tell them what real chemical reform looks like.

Tell your Senators that strong chemical regulation must address:

  • Burden of Proof: the burden of proof for chemical safety must be placed squarely on the shoulders of industry rather than on the EPA having to prove they are toxic.
  • Precautionary Principle: a strong chemical safety bill must require that products are proven safe before they enter the marketplace – rather than after they are already in our homes and our bodies.
  • Expedited Action on the Worst Chemicals: existing chemical regulation requires unnecessary red tape before the EPA can phase out a chemical identified as dangerous. Instead of creating obstacles for regulators to protect the public, strong chemical reform must allow for expedited action for the worst chemicals.
  • Protection for Heavily Impacted Communities: central to any proposed chemical regulation must be a special focus to reduce toxic chemicals in “hot spot” communities heavily impacted by chemical exposures.
  • Allowance for Existing Stronger Laws: federal chemical regulation cannot over-ride or water down existing state or regional laws protecting people from toxic chemicals.
  • Establish Deadlines and Timetables: this should go without saying, but chemical regulation should have a realistic implementation schedule that requires compliance and gives the EPA the necessary incentives and resources to implement changes necessitated by the new law.

Activists like you influence legislators. In the past, we have shown that when we come together, we can make change happen. Now is the time – please email your Senators today and tell them what strong chemical regulation looks like – before the Senate hearing on chemical reform tomorrow, Wednesday, July 31st. Thank you for taking a stand to ensure that any new chemical regulation is as strong as it can possibly be.

Annie Sartor
Policy and Campaigns Coordinator