Surprise them–serve this pea soup chilled. People don’t expect cold soup, and at first spoonful, they’re purring in delight. “What a pretty bright color, wow, this is delicious!” Delicately flavored peasy easy sweet pea and mint soup—it blows them away.
Easy peasy. Simply simmer sweet peas with fresh herbs, puree until smooth, and chill quickly, over ice. Complement the sweet pea flavor with dollops of tangy goat cheese and crunchy fresh peas. Tear a few fresh mint and basil leaves and float them on top, for a hint of the herbs inside.
Cruising around the Salt Lake Farmer’s Market for inspiration for this month’s seasonal recipe, I bought a bag of peas to shell, to sprinkle on salads or something. Then we walked past a booth where a couple of kids were literally shoveling fresh peas into pound bags. Already shelled peas. We stopped in our tracks. “Who shells your peas?”, we asked. They answered, “We’ve got a combine, these were picked this morning.” Sold!
How cool is that? Fresh shelled peas, as many as you want, without the pain of opening each pod and dumping out the peas, pod by pod. Peasy easy. Pick up some mint and basil—soup’s on.
Peasy Easy Sweet Pea and Mint Soup details and notes:
- This soup is equally delicious made with frozen peas. In fact, you need frozen peas for the bright green color. For the fresh to frozen pea ratio, see recipe below.
- In cooler weather, serve this soup hot. Yummy again.
- Substitute sour cream or crème fraîche for the goat cheese.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the soup right in the pot.
- A small amount of fresh tarragon adds a pleasing anise note to the soup. Don’t simmer the tarragon in the soup–add at the end, when you puree everything together.
- Save pod peas for garnish–removing peas from a dozen or so pods doesn’t take all afternoon and everyone loves the fresh flavor and chew. If you don’t have fresh peas, finish with snow peas cut in ½-inch pieces.
- If you have access to frilly pea shoots or pea tendrils, use them as garnish too.
- My friend had some lemony sorrel in her garden, so I added a few sorrel leaves. Be judicious, as sorrel darkens when cooked and can change the soup color.
- Vegans: Garnish with coarsely chopped cashews and/or thin coconut cream.
- Adapted from a recipe in Maria Elia’s The Modern Vegetarian cookbook.
Every month Becky of The Vintage Mixer blog gathers a group of recipe-writing bloggers, and, to get our creative juices flowing, she sends a list of seasonal produce. Those shelled peas at the Farmer’s Market inspired this recipe.
Be sure to check out The Vintage Mixer’s first post this month, a roundup of seasonal recipe ideas for veggies and fruits. And, for more ideas, follow these blog links to see what everybody else created for July. I hope we inspire you to get in the kitchen and cook something delicious, and seasonal.
Chinese Napa Cabbage Salad by Food for My Family
Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Spicy Corn-Cherry Salsa by Floating Kitchen
Grilled Green Onion & Sweet Potato Salad with Warm Chèvre by Simple Bites
Chicken Gyro Bowls with Summer Veggies with Fresh Summer Veggies by Vintage Mixer
Latin Chipotle Quinoa Salad with Avocado by Foodie Crush
Broccoli Kale Salad with Greek Yogurt Poppyseed Dressing by Flavor the Moments
Grilled Summer Squash with Feta, Lemon & Fresh Herbs by Mountain Mama Cooks
Artichoke and Avocado Dip by Kitchen Confidante
Grilled Squash, Corn and Kale Salad by Completely Delicious
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Serve this easy soup chilled or hot. Make with fresh or frozen peas--but use at least one quarter frozen peas for the bright green color.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped (heaping ½ cup)
- 1 pound fresh or frozen green peas plus 6 ounces frozen green peas
- 3 cups water
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons lightly packed fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Goat cheese, sour cream or crème fraîche, as needed
- Fresh shelled peas, or snow peas
- Mint and basil leaves, for garnish
- Optional: pea shoots or tendrils
- Heat the oil in a saucepan on medium flame. Sauté the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Do not let the onions brown.
- Add the first pound of peas, the water, the first ¼ cup of mint, the basil, and the salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer 10 minutes. (If you are using only frozen peas, simmer 20 minutes.) Stir in the remaining frozen peas and the remaining fresh herbs. Cook just until the second batch of peas are tender.
- Puree the soup using an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender.
- Make an ice bath: Fill a large bowl with ice and nest the saucepan of soup in it. Stir occasionally until the soup is cold. (Alternatively, transfer the soup to a metal bowl and nest that in the ice bowl.)
- Serve cold, or hot, with dollops of goat cheese or swirls of sour cream and fresh peas or snow peas. Decorate with fresh mint and basil leaves.
Substitute sour cream or crème fraîche for the goat cheese.