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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.