Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy St. Patricks Day! with Mint Pea Soup

Happy St. Patrick's Day - although it's one day early.  This is my St. Pat's Dance, just for you!

Mint Pea soup is in no way Irisih cuisne, but it is a beautiful shade of green!  Don't get me wrong, I love traditional Irish food, especially Sheppard's Pie and Guinness!  However, I'm trying to be good and not do a big plate of rich food - so I made Mint Pea Soup from Easy Foods by Jean Cazals.  (I've never cooked from the book before - but in the past two months, I've made two recipes!) 

I had a bunch of fresh mint and a bag of peas.  I'm not sure why - as I usually don't like mint and can't stand peas.  However, I've heard that pea soups are delish so I decided to give it a try.  It's ok.  The garnish on top, which has a fancy name that I'm not remembering right now, makes the soup.  In the middle of the mutted pea taste, you'll get a sharp bite of lemon or garlic and it makes your mouth happy.

Melt a pad of butter.  Add a diced potato, onion and clove of garlic.  Saute for about ten minutes until soft and tender.  I'd never started soup with butter, but it made it smell delicious.  

Add in about 3 cups of broth (I used vegetable, just in case if my vegetarian friend wanted to try some), a handful of fresh mint and a bag of frozen peas.  Let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

While it was simmer, make the fancy garnish.  (It has a fancy name, that I'll update the post with later.  Along with the actual recipe...  UPDATE:  It's called a minted gemolata.)  Finely chop about 2 tablespoons fresh mint, a clove of garlic and zest 2 lemons.  Combine together.

My roommate broke her boss's zester at work, so she had to give hers to him.  (She hit a fellow co-worker in the rear and it broke.)  I've really been missing it.  So I got myself a new one last night!  I'm excited for my next zesting project!

Blend the soup (in batches if necessary).  It' turns this beautiful shade of green.

Sprinkle some fancy garnish and drizzle some olive oil on top.  Enjoy!  It really is better than I thought it'd be, just not something I'd actively go looking for.

Happy cooking!

Pea Soup with Minted Gremolata

  • 2 tablespons butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 pound shelled fresh peas (or frozen)
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 fresh mint sprigs (I think it could have used more than this - but I'm not a pea lover)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons shredded fresh mint leaves
  • grated rind of 1-2 lemons
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • Melt the butter in a pan, add th onion and potato, and fry gently for 10 minutes until softened and lightly golden.  Add the peas, stock, mint, and seasoning.  Bring to the boil, lower the head, cover, and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, mix the gremolata ingredients (2 tbsp shredded mint leaves, lemon zest and 1 garlic clove) together in a bowl. 
  • Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until very smooth.  Return to the pan and heat through.  Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Spoon the soup into warm bowls and serve topped with the gremolata and a drizzle of olive oil.
Author's Note:  Gremolata - an Italian mix of mint, lemon zest, and garlic - adds a real zing to this creamy, fresh-tasting soup.

Leslie's Note:  I agree.  I probably wouldn't have liked the soup without the gremolata.


  1. i took that twisty dance picture! les, you're such a seductive dancer. also, your soup looks delightful!

  2. I love your blog. I'm going to try some recipes. The pictures are helpful