What springs to mind this time of year? Why peas of course! As soon as I hear that distinct boing from a spring that has fully sprung. I make this soup, Spring Pea Soup with Mint and Sour Cream.
Because peas and mint are a traditional springtime duo. Here they are brought together in a Pea Soup with Mint that has features the slight tartness and rich body of sour cream. Making for a little bit of pure pea perfection in a cute little bowl.
Like I said I make this soup every year just as the peas hit their peak of perfection. I suggest you wait for that moment too when making Pea Soup with Mint like this. Get the peas too early and they can be small and disappointing. Wait too long in the season and they can get starchy. Get them at just the right moment and you simply won’t believe their sweet flavor.
Pea Soup with Mint
That’s why a soup likes this works so well. Perfect peas take very little in the way of “extras” to make them sing in the spring. With peas this perfect I think simple is best. But I gotta say, the slight brightness and luscious texture in sour cream compliments the natural sugars in fresh spring peas if handled with a deft hand.
So, please pass the peas because they’ve peaked. If you don’t believe me have a peek… Sorry, I realize alliteration is a dummy’s last resort at clever writing, but I have trouble not swinging at that ball when it’s lobbed so easily in my direction! Enjoy Pea Soup with Mint.
- 4 lb english peas in the shells
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 c spring onion, white & light green parts, chopped
- 1 q vegetable stock
- 1 t sea salt, or to taste
- 1⁄8 t white pepper, or to taste
- 10 large mint leaves, minced, plus more left whole as garnish
- 2 T flat-leafed parsley leaves, minced
- 1⁄3 c sourcream
- lemon wedges
Pea Soup with Mint
Shell all the peas and put them in a bowl. Set aside. Coursely chop the about 2 cups of the pea pods. Then tie them up in a large double layer of cheese cloth. Form a pouch and tie it closed with kitchen twine. Set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large deep skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion, stirring occasionally until it is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the stock, reserved pea pod pouch, salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high, and bring it to a simmer. Use a spoon to submerge the pea pod pouch. Let the mixture cook at a simmer for about 10 minutes.
Remove the pea pod pouch, carefully squeezing out as much liquid as possible. Discard.
Add the peas, chopped mint, and parsley to the stock and bring the liquid back to a simmer. Cook until the peas turn bright green, and are tender. No more than 5 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth. Place a fine-mesh over a large bowl. Pour the pureed soup into the sieve. Working in batches, use the back of a wooden spoon to push the liquid through the sieve and into the bowl. Discard solids as you work.
Once it has all been strained, wipe the original pan clean and pour the strained soup back into it. Gently rewarm the soup over medium-low heat. Add 1/3 cup sour cream and stir well to blend. Remove from heat and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. You may also need to adjust consistency with a bit more stock.
Ladle to soup into small soup bowls. Garnish with more sour cream and a few mint leaves, Serve with lemon wedges on the side to squeeze into the soup to taste.
Notes: You may use two 10-ounce packages of frozen peas alternatively for this Pea Soup with Mint and skip the bundling up the pods for steeping.