Emma Chamberlain’s Pea Soup Recipe Is Perfect For Spring
She claims to not be a cooking pro, but this recipe says otherwise.
In Elite Daily's I Tried series, we put celebrities’ favorite products, recipes, and routines to the test to show you what living like your fave star is really like. In this piece, we try to recreate Emma Chamberlain’s basil, potato, and pea soup recipe from her YouTube channel.
Emma Chamberlain does it all. She’s got millions of followers. She runs a successful coffee company. She even makes soup! OK, maybe that last one isn’t the most exceptional accomplishment, but it’s at least kind of surprising, right?
After taking a brief hiatus from YouTube in August 2021, Chamberlain returned later that summer with videos that had a noticeably gentler vibe, including a tour of her childhood bedroom and, yes, a soup-making tutorial. Intrigued by the latter’s seemingly simple concept and its whopping 4-million-plus views, I needed to know more.
The top comment on the video reads “Only Emma could make an actual soup movie & have our full attention for 12 minutes and 11 seconds,” which turned out to be extremely true. Chamberlain sort of improvised this recipe based on ingredients she had in mind, so the video is part cooking tutorial, part science experiment. It honestly makes for a pretty captivating watch.
In addition to being super popular with Chamberlain’s fans, this recipe sounded great because it feels undeniably spring-y thanks to the peas (April is pea season, after all). I’m nothing if not a sucker for a seasonal recipe, so I decided to give it a go.
This recipe doesn’t require many ingredients, which makes it pretty easy. The only ingredient that I really had to search for was the fingerling potatoes because Chamberlain specifically called for that variety. Also, Chamberlain somehow found fresh peas in the produce section of her grocery store. I had no such luck, but I think my frozen peas worked out just fine.
Here’s what you need for Chamberlain’s basil, pea, and potato soup:
- 12 fingerling potatoes, chopped
- 4 cups English peas
- 1 cup shallots, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 teaspoons vegetable Better Than Bouillon paste
- 1/2 cup chopped basil, plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup Parmesan, plus more for garnish
- Olive oil
To start, I boiled the potatoes for 20 minutes and the peas for five minutes. I’ll just say it: 4 cups of peas is a lot of peas. I had to take out an extra prep bowl just to fit them all. But peas are a major ingredient in this soup, so I went with it. After the potatoes and peas were done boiling, I set them aside.
Next, I drizzled olive oil in a large pot and heated it over low heat. In her video, Chamberlain sings the praises of cooking things low and slow on the stove, so I made sure to heed her advice whenever I could. Once the oil was heated, I added the shallots and cooked for about five or six minutes, then added the garlic and continued cooking for another two to three minutes. They both came out slightly overcooked; I think I needed to stir them more. Nevertheless, I soldiered on, adding 6 cups of water, four teaspoons of vegetable Better Than Bouillon paste, and a few shakes of salt and pepper. I heated that to a boil, then reduced the heat to medium-low and cooked uncovered for about 10 minutes.
Here’s where the real fun began. It was time to add the basil and Parmesan directly to the soup and pour it all in a blender. I’ll be honest: I’ve only used my blender for smoothies and the occasional frozen margarita, so this was pretty exciting for me. (Hey, it’s been a weird couple of years; don’t judge me for the things I find exciting.) I popped my soup in and blended it to a smooth consistency.
This is the step when everything started to really come together. I poured the blended mixture back into the pot, added the cooked potatoes and peas, and brought it to a boil. I also gave it a few extra stirs to make sure all the frothy parts got reintegrated into the soup. Once the soup started boiling, I removed the pot from the heat.
Finally, it was time to serve it up with a garnish of more basil and Parmesan.
The Taste Test
Let’s get one thing out of the way: This is certainly not the most attractive meal you could eat. You’re probably not going to get many good shots of this soup for your foodie Instagram, since this soup is an unflattering shade of brown. But this isn’t a sight test; it’s a taste test. And as far as taste goes... this soup is pretty good! I give Chamberlain a lot of credit for creating this recipe herself. The bouillon, basil, and Parmesan in the broth gave it a really savory flavor, and the peas added a fun pop of freshness. Plus, the potatoes helped make this hearty enough to be a full meal.
This soup was easy to make and turned out to be a really comforting meal, perfect to ring in spring. If I had one critique, I’d say you don’t have to go to great lengths to seek out fingerling potatoes; any ol’ potatoes would probably work just as well. But besides that, Chamberlain crafted a pretty stellar recipe. Call me a gorgeous, gorgeous girl, because I love this soup.