Incredibly delicious creamed peas and creamed leeks recipe made healthy without dairy cream or flour. Easy, nutritious, straightforward and flavor packed side dish to add to your Thanksgiving menu but also to your weekly recipe rotation year round. The very best ~ always vegan!
You haven’t had amazing creamed peas until you combine them with almost caramelized creamed leeks in the most luscious and delicious cream sauce from scratch. A nostalgic meal from my childhood that most weeknights would be simply scooped up with crusty bread and maybe a big bowl of tomato salad in the center of the table. Leftovers were enjoyed on bruschetta or toast like a Tartine sandwich sprinkled with chives or fresh dill. For special occasions you might have them with mashed potatoes, carrots or some type of fluffy semolina dumplings.
The gist of it is sautéing tons of leeks until almost caramelized to concentrate their mild but beautiful flavor, combined with sweet green peas then finished cooking together in a luscious cashew cream sauce that checks all the boxes. You have savory with a very subtle sweetness from the peas balanced by a touch of tanginess in the cream. My choice of herbs is fresh thyme or dill, although mint is also a nice if you fancy that flavor profile.
About the Green Peas
- Frozen Peas vs Fresh vs Canned – Flash-frozen peas are picked and frozen at their peak when they are the most nutritious and delicious. They are also available year round and usually more affordable than fresh ones which are also difficult to find. Canned peas are generally mushy and I would advise against using them here.
- Using Fresh Peas – If you happen to get your hands on some fresh produce or better yet grow your own, then by all means use them here. They can go straight into pot with the leeks and simmered in the cream sauce until tender to your liking.
Cleaning the Leeks
Oh how I love this nutrient packed and delicious vegetable. I mean why make peas and carrots when you can have peas and leeks?! The savory flavor is outstanding! I find many people are intimated by cleaning leeks as they can have quite a lot of dirt and sand trapped in between layers from being grown deep into the ground. Easy fix in 2 simple steps:
- Simply slice or chop the leeks to your liking and soak in a large bowl of cold water. Agitate the water well and allow them to sit for about 10 minutes. All the dirt will sink to the bottom of the bowl while the clean leeks will float to the top.
- Use your hands to scoop them out or use some type of spider ladle. Straight into the hot pan they go. Easy Peasy!
About the Cream
This blender cashew cream is perfect, If I say so myself. It is going to seem very thin at first but please trust the process, I promise you it will thicken up amazingly once it simmers for a few minutes with the peas and leeks. If you don’t have a super powerful blender such as a Vitamix, please remember to soak your cashews for 20 minutes in hot water before blending. This is important so the cream is silky and luscious without any grainy bits.
On Storage + Reheating
This is a great recipe to make ahead of time as it reheats beautifully on the stove top or microwave oven. Add a splash of veggie broth or water to help loosen up the sauce to your liking and simmer until hot and bubbly. Since the recipe contains no dairy any leftovers can also be frozen for longer storage. Remember to thaw out in the refrigerator before reheating.
- Vegan Chicken
- Fried Mushrooms
- Roasted Carrots
- Vegan Ribs
- Mushroom Wellington
- Potatoes and Green Beans
- Vegan Turkey
- Lentil Loaf
- Vegan Steaks
- Paprika Roasted Potatoes
- Vegan Scallops
- Mushroom Bourguignon
- Mashed Potato Salad
- Potato Pancakes
Creamed Peas with Leeks
- 2 medium leeks
- 1 lb frozen green peas
- 5 thyme sprigs leaves only
- Rinse the frozen peas under tap water then add them to a medium bow. Cover with room temperature water and allow them to thaw out completely while prepping the leeks.1 lb frozen green peas
- Slice the leeks into thin rounds and place them in a large bowl. Cover with cold water and give them a good rinse around. Allow to sit undisturbed for 15 minutes or so and allow any sand and dirt to fall to the bottom of the bowl while the cleaned leeks will float to the top.2 medium leeks
- Preheat a large heavy bottom high sided skillet on medium high heat.
- Using your hands or a spider ladle spoon out the leeks from the water and add them straight into the dry hot skillet. Repeat with the remaining leeks. The moisture from the wet leeks will create steam and help with the sautéing process. Sprinkle the leeks with a pinch of salt and give it a stir.2 medium leeks
- Optional: Once the leeks have wilted you can add a small drizzle of olive oil to help caramelize the edges a little bit and create depth of flavor. (Omit oil for WFPB + Plantricious diets).
- Drain the green peas and add them to the pan with the leeks together with the thyme leaves. Toss to coat well and season with another pinch of salt.1 lb frozen green peas, 5 thyme sprigs
- Process the cashew cream ingredients in a powerful blender such as Vitamix until the sauce is silky smooth. (NOTE: If your blender isn’t one of the powerful ones it’s very important to soak the cashews in boiling hot water for 20 minutes before blending. Discard the soaking water).1 cup raw cashews, 1.75 cups water, 1/2 lemon, 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast, 1 Tbsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp granulated garlic , 1 tsp sea salt + more to taste, 1 tsp dijon mustard
- Pour the cashew cream over the peas and leeks and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes until the cream has thickened and the green peas have cooked to your liking. I prefer mine at the point they start changing color to an olive green, they still have a nice bite but not mushy.
- Adjust seasonings to tase with more salt and pepper and serve hot.
WFPB + Plantricious
- For the recipe to be fully compliant make sure to sautee the leeks in water or veggie broth and do not add any oil to your dish.
- About the Cream - It is going to seem very thin at first but please trust the process, it will thicken up amazingly once it simmers for a few minutes with the peas and leeks. If you don't have a super powerful blender such as a Vitamix, please remember to soak your cashews for 20 minutes in hot water before blending. This is important so the cream is silky and luscious without any grainy bits.
- Using Fresh Peas - If you happen to get your hands on some fresh produce or better yet grow your own, then by all means use them here. They can go straight into pot with the leeks and simmered in the cream sauce until tender to your liking.