I’ve never been a big fan of peas, but something miraculous happens to them when they’re turned into a soup. I just can’t get enough of the little blighters!
This pea and mint soup is impressive enough to serve at a dinner party or, as a healthy lunch, with some fresh crusty bread on the side. It can be served warm or cold, so you can make it ahead of time, or make it in bulk and freeze it in separate containers.
I adapted this recipe from Slimming World’s ‘Little Book of Soups’ – but don’t let the ‘slimming‘ bit put you off! It literally explodes with flavour.
I doubled the following ingredients and made a big pan of the stuff! This will be my lunch for the next couple of days and I’ll freeze the rest.
PREP and COOKING TIME: 45 minutes
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2.5cm (1in) cube fresh ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
600g frozen peas
1 litre vegetable stock (I used Kallo organic)
6 tbsp very finely chopped fresh mint (about 15g)
Fat free natural yogurt, to serve
1. Place the onion, celery, garlic, ginger, peas and stock in a non-stick saucepan over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes, placing the chopped fresh mint into the pan for the last minute.
If you want to add extra depth, place the rind of your Parmesan cheese in with the rest of your ingredients, removing it before blending. It adds a certain je ne sais quoi. I got this tip from my favourite TV chef, Nigel Slater. You can freeze the Parmesan rinds in a bag and use whenever you require. Clever!
2. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 15 minutes. Then, using a hand-held blender or food processor, blend the soup until smooth.
3. Divide into serving bowls and place a big dollop of natural yogurt on top with a sprinkling of black pepper.