This soup is so green, it even tastes green. Fresh or frozen peas blended with aromatic mint leaves are the culprits. The batch I made for this photo was based on Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution recipe, but I doubled the carrots, tripled the garlic, added maybe a few hundred extra peas, and used chicken stock instead of broth. It’s so fortified with healthy stuff, you’re probably getting your recommended vegetable serving requirement for the entire week in one bowl.
While split pea soup has been a staple of diets world wide for centuries, fresh peas have not always been as readily available and were once considered a treat for the elite.
1696: Fresh garden peas were not common until the 18th century. Toward the end of the 17th century they were still such a rare delicacy that fantastic prices were sometimes paid for them in France. “This subject of peas continues to absorb all others,” Madame de Maintenon wrote in 1696. “Some ladies, even after having supped at the Royal Table, and well supped too, returning to their own homes, at the risk of suffering from indigestion, will again eat peas before going to bed. It is both a fashion and a madness.”
Recipe for Pea and Mint Soup – adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution
Roughly chop the carrots, celery, onions and garlic and sautee in 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat, about 10 minutes. Carrots should be softened and onions lightly golden, but not browned. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the peas and bring back to a boil. Once boiling, simmer for 10 minutes. Once the peas have softened remove the pot from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and add torn up mint leaves. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup until smooth, or to desired texture.
Serve hot or cold with a fashionable swirl of sour cream or yogurt, and indulge your madness for the sweetness of fresh pea soup.