Pea and lettuce soup with mint and chives takes only a few minutes to prepare. It’s a simple entree for a spring lunch. However, if you like a more substantial soup, it works beautifully with some almond meal stirred in, or some strips of grilled prosciutto strewn over the top. It’s also a lovely way to use the outer, tougher leaves of a lettuce that are often discarded.
If you have the time and the inclination, I’d recommend making your own vegetable stock. I freeze all my vegetable scraps (carrot, celery, leek tips and onion skins). Once I have about 1 kg, I boil them up and strain the liquid , and reduce it further. I’ve included the instructions below. It’s really important to add salt to the cooking liquid, otherwise it will taste like dirty dishwater. Trust me, I’ve tried it!
If you like the simplicity of a few ingredients in a soup, you might like to try this creamy corn and cashew soup, which is also vegetarian: https://atamandastable.com.au/creamy-corn-soup-with-cashews/
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Pea and Lettuce Soup with Mint and Chives
- 1 leek, ends trimmed, sliced finely and washed (substitute with a brown onion)
- 1 lettuce, 6 outer leaves (I used a Gem lettuce)
- 1 cup frozen peas (or fresh if you have them)
- 1 bunch chives, washed and coarsely cut (I find scissors easier than a knife for chives)
- 1 cup mint leaves, washed and removed from stems
- 1 L vegetable stock (Campbell’s liquid stock or make your own)
- Approx 1 kg vegetable scraps (celery leaves and ends, leek and carrot tops and tails, onion skins) or use 2 whole carrots, 2 celery sticks & 1 brown onion, all coarsely chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 L water
- Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan. Sauté the sliced leeks with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes until soft.
- Add the stock, bring to the boil, then add the peas. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the lettuce, mint and chives. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Purée cooled soup with a handheld blender and season to taste. Reheat and serve.
- Add vegetable scraps to 3L water with 1 tsp salt in a large saucepan.
- Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for an hour.
- When cool enough to handle, strain the stock into another saucepan. Discard the vegetables (I give the carrot to my Labrador and compost the remainder). Cook the stock for another hour on a medium-high heat until the liquid is further reduced. You should have about 1.5 L remaining. Season to taste.