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Pea & Mint Soup with Lemon Cream

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Serves 4-6

  • To learn more, read:
    Peas from the Pod
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 92

You can serve this soup hot or cold. Its flavor is brighter if you use very fresh, young peas. The starchiness of mature peas can give the soup a split-pea flavor, so if you can find only older peas, use frozen instead. For a vegetarian variation, use pea broth instead of the chicken broth and water.

Watch this recipe in action as part of the Homegrown/Homemade Video Series.

  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped shallots
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 4 cups fresh shelled peas (3-1/2 to 4 lb. unshelled) or frozen peas
  • 2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch granulated sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Finely grated zest of one-half medium lemon

Melt the butter in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until both are very soft, 6 to 8 minutes. They shouldn’t brown. If they’re cooking too fast, reduce the heat to medium low.

Add the peas, broth, half of the mint, and 2 cups water. Season generously with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer vigorously until the peas are very tender, 8 to 10 minutes. In batches, purée the soup in a blender until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If the peas weren’t very sweet, stir in the sugar.

Pour the heavy cream into a medium bowl and whip it to soft peaks with a whisk. Fold in the lemon zest and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into serving bowls and top with a generous spoonful of the lemon cream. Scatter the remaining chopped mint over the soup and serve. If you choose to serve the soup cold, chill it in the fridge but take it out 15 minutes before you serve. Adjust the seasoning if necessary before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 200; Fat (g): fat g 12; Fat Calories (kcal): 110; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 7; Protein (g): protein g 7; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 3.5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 17; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0.5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 240; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 35; Fiber (g): fiber g 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is very nice and easy to make - definitely more complicated than you'd think. I recommend following the recipe first, just to get a feel for it. But the next time I make it, I plan to add diced ham and bacon crumbles to it,

A truly lovely recipe, far more complex in taste than its few ingredients would imply. As spring--and fresh peas!-- has not yet come to my Hudson Valley neighborhood, I used frozen peas, homemade chicken stock, and a combination of fresh and dried mint (the latter is not to be scorned--learned this years ago from Middle Eastern cooks). Like another reviewer, I (no one else however) found the very small pea skins not optimum so, making a second batch, I put the entire soup through a Mouli mill and it was perfectly smooth and rich with no pea bits. I thought the lemon cream was gilding the lily (for a lemon boost, the zest can go into the soup itself) and a little "lightweight"--think I would use creme fraiche or a mix of cf and heavy cream next time. Any which way: an elegant soup--thank you, Annie!

My sister-in-law made this as part of the menu for Mother's Day & I thought it was sublime! A very nice combination of flavors for a spring soup. The freshness of the mint pairs nicely with the creamy quality of the peas, A spoonful of heavy cream was accented quite nicely with touch of lemon zest. I feel clean and satisfied after eating. I could have gone for seconds.

I made this soup with frozen peas. I served it chilled on a very warm evening. We enjoyed it very much, nice flavors. I was not satisfied with the texture, however. I tried to strain it through a mesh strainer, but my strainer was too fine for the job and so I gave up the attempt and served it with the remaining fibrous material. I think that the lemon whipped cream really made the dish. Definitely don't skip the lemon cream.

Great, simple, healthy soup. I used frozen peas (really the only frozen vegetable that holds up to fresh) and substituted plain yogurt for the whipped cream. I needed to add a little more stock than the recipe called for as I found the soup too thick.

A great spring pea soup. I used frozen peas and it came out fine. In fact, I had one bowl and my husband polished off the rest of the pot. Don't leave out the mint - it really highlights the peas. Also a plus - quick to make.

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