Sweet Pea Soup with Mint Pesto

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 6 to 8 servings
  • Prep 5 mins
  • Cook 35 mins

Fresh green peas make this a stellar spring soup. Frozen peas will work, too.

If you use frozen peas, buy the petite variety; they're sweeter than larger peas.

Ingredients

Pesto:
1 cup fresh mint leaves, loosely packed
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, loosely packed
4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
1 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Soup:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (3 to 4 medium), peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups shelled fresh or frozen green peas
1 head butterhead (Bibb) lettuce (about 4 cups, loosely packed)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. To prepare pesto, place mint, parsley and garlic in a food processor. Pulse to roughly chop. With motor running, pour in olive oil. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add almonds, cheese, salt and pepper. Purée until smooth, about 1 minute. Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container up to 1 week.
  2. To prepare soup, melt butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; reduce heat, and cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes and celery; cook 5 minutes.
  3. Add broth and peas and bring to a low boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Add lettuce and simmer until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in mint, salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Cool slightly.
  4. Working in batches, pour soup into a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm or chilled with a teaspoon of Mint Pesto spooned onto each serving. (You’ll have pesto left over). The soup will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, up to 3 days.

Reprinted with permission from Fresh Every Day: More Great Recipes from Foster’s Market by Sara Foster (Clarkson Potter Publishers, 2005).

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