From Finger Food to Family Favorite

A bag of frozen peas ought to be a staple. Of all the veggies we strive to get our kids to eat, peas consistently disappear from plates faster than, say, a nice salad. In addition to throwing a handful in soups, salads, stir-fries, rice dishes or casseroles, you can easily dress up peas to make an impressive side dish. Here are three of our favorite ways for the whole family:

Cran-and-Peas Saute some finely chopped onions and dried cranberries together in olive oil until soft. Add a small bag of frozen peas. Continue to sauté until peas are heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Peas and Couscous While you’re boiling water to make couscous, add some peas, and salt and pepper to taste. Then add the couscous, cover to steam. After 5 minutes, add some chopped walnuts and freshly grated parmesan. Stir and serve.

Potato Leek Soup with Peas Slice one large or two medium leeks (white part only). Saute the leeks in olive oil over medium heat; be careful not to burn the leeks or they will taste bitter. Add 4 cups of roughly diced Yukon Gold potatoes and 1 quart of water. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to let simmer until potatoes are tender. Puree in batches (be sure to remove the cap in the lid and cover with a kitchen towel when blending so the steam can escape) and pour into a large soup tureen or work bowl. Once pureed, return the soup to the pot over low heat. Add peas and let heat through. Garnish with your favorite croutons or toasted crusty bread.

—Hsiao-Ching Chou