A few weeks ago I was listening to Martha Stewart Living Radio and there was a woman, Chef Marjorie Druker, on there talking about her soup restaurant in Brookline. hmmm, how have I not heard about this long standing soup establishment just a few miles away?? Two things came out of it this radio interview, I wanted to make soup and then of course go to her place, The New England Soup Factory. When chefs come on MSL radio they share with them stories of becoming a chef, working in kitchens, their restaurant, and (best of all) recipes. So the owner of NESF shared a recipe that I was really interested in- Sweet Green Pea Soup with Fresh Mint.
To me nothing sounds more like spring that Sweet Green Pea Soup with Fresh Mint. The ingredients, the color, the flavor… everything is spring like to me. I jumped at the chance to make this last night so I picked up the ingredients at lunch. I know I should make recipes without alterations when starting out but I had to make a few, which are reflected below. For example, the recipe called for fennel and I don’t like fennel. Not at all. I have tried it and have tried to like it but it’s not happening now. Hopefully I will get over it one day but until now I leave it out of recipes. Of course, if you like fennel and other soups, you can get the original recipe from Marjorie’s book.
Now I give this advice with some experience. DO NOT FILL YOUR BLENDER! I gave myself room for the soup to flop up and then mix around once I turned on the blender. Well it was not enough room. Sure enough the top flopped open and I got hot green soup on my arm(!!) and wall. Yes, I was holding the top down with a towel, but once that heat is agitated it takes on a life of its own and wants out of your blender. So after my first batch in the blender I reduced the amount and had no problems.
You can make this vegetarian by omitting the cream. The soup can also become vegan by the removal of the cream, substituting the butter with oil, and using a vegan version of Worcestershire or substituting it with soy sauce or tamarind.
Sweet Pea and Mint Soup
Makes 8-10 servings
- 4 tablespoons salted butter
- 1 1/2 cup of onions or spring onions (if you can find them)
- 2 peeled all-purpose potatoes diced small
- 2 cloves fresh garlic
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 2 pounds frozen peas
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves and additional for garnish
- 1 cup of light cream
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Crème Fraiche or greek yogurt for garnishing (optional)
- In a large stockpot melt the butter and add the onions, garlic and potatoes and sauté for 15 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Turn down slightly and cover and cook until the potatoes are tender. Remove from the heat.
- Add in the frozen peas and fresh mint and puree with a hand blender or blender until very smooth.
- Add the heavy cream, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings and puree until completely blended.
- Place mixture back onto the stove top and cook an additional 5 minutes.
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