Pea Shoot, Dill & Chicken Soup

Pea Shoot, Dill & Chicken Soup

This past weekend I picked up a bag of fresh pea shoots at the farmer's market. The cascading, vine-like tendrils have a Dickensian, Great Expectations vibe to them. 

Tendrils: what a word. 

Pea shoots are sweet and crisp, packed with minerals and vitamins. This is a perfect soup to bolster immune health during the winter. I'll often make this soup with leftover roast chicken, and use the carcass to make the stock. A rotisserie chicken (without the skin) also works. If you can’t get your hands on the pea shoots, use baby spinach or arugula instead. 

Serves: 4-6

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

Pea Shoot Beauty


¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil

1 fennel bulb, finely diced, fronds reserved for garnish

4 celery stalks, finely sliced, inner leaves reserved for garnish

2 carrots, finely chopped

2 shallots, finely diced

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon kosher salt 

Freshly cracked black pepper

3 cups cooked chicken meat, shredded

8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade 

1 teaspoon chicken bouillon

1 cup small dried pasta, such as Anellini Siciliani, or Ditalini 

15 oz canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 lemon, juiced

⅓ cup fresh dill, chopped, plus more for garnish 

2 cups fresh pea tendrils (or baby spinach or arugula) 

Parmesan Reggiano, for serving (optional)


Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat, then add the fennel, celery, carrots, shallots, garlic, salt and pepper. Gently cook the soffritto, stirring often, until it softens but doesn’t brown, about 15 minutes.

Add the shredded chicken, stock, bouillon and the dried pasta. Increase the heat to medium-low and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and cook until the pasta is almost al dente. Skim any foam and fat, and discard.

Stir in the chickpeas, lemon juice and dill. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. Continue to cook for about 4-5 minutes, just until the pasta is tender and the chickpeas have warmed through.

Serve soup in individual bowls and garnish with the pea shoots, and reserved dill and celery leaves. Serve hot and steamy, showered with Parmesan.