Peas In The French Style/ Petit Pois A La Francaise

Gotta say … I love this dish 🙂 Okay, so, I made a pan of this for my self, to do for my dinner and as a stand by for the next day’s lunch. For the real evening meal for everyone I made a fantastic old Medieval Stew recipe (I shall get it sorted on here in a few weeks) and it turned out great, all the things you want on a chilly evening, really tasty, with a quirky fruity tone that is very typical of those Medieval cooks. Dished it up, no problems, everyone loved it, had second helpings, just a little left over that looked perfect for Geoff to take in as his packed lunch. But no! Foolish me! Little did I know that whilst he was washing the pots he had a cheeky taste of my pea stew. Next morning, not a word to me, he took the massive pot load in for his lunch. Geoff is a meat pie/sausage/steak man, that proves how big on flavour this little dish of vegetables is.

The stew ready for eating

Anyway, at the market yesterday, so many people asked if I would have something after the holiday that would help with their excess eating and I was thinking it would be an idea to add a recipe here so you would have something in mind that is lighter on the digestive tract and, although still really delicious, is perhaps *not so over indulgent (* not so is the caveat).

Honestly, try it, it’ll change your world (well, maybe just one of your Christmas time meals 🙂 )

This is based on the classic recipe, but it has a few additions that I think are a lovely improvement.

Okay, danger of waffling here, so ….

Peas In The French Style/ Petit Pois A La Francaise


Enough for 4 as a main course with some bread

60 g/2 ozcocnut oil/vegetable fat 1floz oil

2 tbsp olive oil

1 large white onion, diced (pieces about the size of the peas, so not too small)

4 spring onions/scallions, medium slices

2 cloves of garlic, in thin slices is fine

4 Little Gem lettuce, shredded (just repeatedly run a knife through the intact head and you’ll have it cut just right)

75ml/ 3 floz White Vermouth (or wine/cider whatever you like, I think the Vermouth is perfect)

500g/1lb Frozen Petit Pois (or peas if that’s what you have)

1 tsp dried Parsley (2 of fresh chopped if you have it)-optional

1 tsp dried Dill (2 of fresh snipped) -optional

2-4 tsp nutritional yeast

500ml/ 1 pt Hot Vegetable stock – from a cube is great

250ml/ 1/2pt Soya Cream  mixed with a heaped teaspoon of cornflour

Have everything ready on the side, this won’t take long.




Heat the fats in a nice large pan (minimum of 2Lt/4pt, the one you use to cook the pasta in) over a medium heat.


Add in the onions, stir and cook for a couple of minutes until they start to look translucent. Add in the scallions and cook for another minute until soft.


Add the garlic and stir until they are sizzling.


Tip in the lettuce and turn the heat up to full. Pour in the vermouth (or whatever it is you like the taste of).




Cheese rinds in the stew

In goes the petit pois (or peas, doesn’t matter if they are frozen), the herbs  and the hot stock. I put the lid on now so as to get it back to the boil as quickly as possible.

Pouring in the cream

Once it is boiling take the lid off and allow it to cook for 5 minutes.

Reducing the liquor

Get the serving dish (or if you’re like me – the Pyrex mixing bowl) and use a draining spoon to fish out all the peas and lettuce until you just have the herby liquid in the pan.

The thickened liquor

This you now fast boil to reduce the liquid, it needs to be reduced to about 250ml/1/2 pt.

Now add your soya cream with the cornflour mix, it should be a nice creamy consistency, if it’s too thick add a little more water.

Delicious Peas a la Francaise

Add the pea mixture back to the pan and stir while keeping the pan on the heat until everything has a good coat of the sauce and the liquid has come back to a simmer just at the edges.

Perfect amount of sauce to peas ratio :)

I like it served in a bowl with a nice crispy roll to mop up the tasty sauce .. spoons an absolute necessity.

The stew ready for eating

This is also a very nice side dish with all just about anything –  even Pizza 😀

Come and see me on Saturdays’ at Bermondsey Square Farmers Market in Southwark. It’s just off Tower Bridge Road, a short walk from The White Cube, Southbank and Borough Market.
All new customers will get a lovely washable cotton shopper as a ‘Thank you and please come again next week’ (Whie stocks last!)

Every Friday at about 6 pm GMT I publish photos of the items I have cooked for market. Have a look at the Facebook page.

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