Peas: amazing little green balls packed full of goodness and flavour – no wonder Nigella is always banging on about them.

I realise the season for fresh peas has passed… however, this soup is brilliant made with frozen petit pois as I discovered last night – no kidding: 25mins from start to finish and you’re sitting down and eating. Results? Delicious (in fact Paul said he was having a When-Harry-Met-Sally moment, but I soon put a stop to that …in my café indeed!)

 

This is a delicious, mega-healthy, hearty, satisfying and fragrant soup – great hot, warm or room temperature, served with crusty bread and butter.

Pea & Mint Soup

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 850ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 900g young peas in the pod (to give about 250g/9oz shelled peas) …or frozen petit pois
  • 200ml cream, soured cream or buttermilk
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh mint plus leaves for garnish
  • large pinch caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon or lime juice

METHOD

  1. For the garnish, take 3 tbsp of the peas and pop in to simmering water for 2-3 minutes to blanch. Then drain and put in a bowl of cold water and set aside.
  2. Put the spring onions into a large pan with the potato, garlic and stock. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the potato is very soft.
  3. Add the remaining peas to the soup base and simmer for 5 minutes – no longer, or you will lose the lovely fresh flavour of the peas.
  4. Take off the heat and stir in the mint, sugar and lemon or lime juice, and add 150ml of the cream, buttermilk or soured cream
  5. Pour the soup into a food processor or liquidiser and whizz until as smooth as you like. Stir in half the buttermilk or soured cream, taste and season with salt and pepper.
  6. To serve the soup cold, cool quickly – you may need to add more stock to the soup before serving as it will thicken as it cools. To serve hot, return the soup to the rinsed-out pan and reheat without boiling (to prevent the buttermilk or soured cream from curdling).
  7. Serve the soup in hot bowls, garnished with a swirl of the remaining cream, the drained peas and freshly ground black pepper…and a mint leaf if required.