Last night, I was reading through one of my new cookbooks, Jamie's Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver, and thought his recipe for Pea and Mint Soup sounded really good. The deciding factor that convinced me to make it tonight was that the mint in our Aerogarden was getting big, and that's one herb I never seem to use unless I plan for it, besides floating a few leaves in my tea every once in awhile. Not that I need much convincing to make pea soup, but I always like to choose recipes that use up things I already have around the kitchen. I already had the mint, carrots, onions, and some homemade vegetable stock, so my shopping list was pretty much just frozen peas and ham.
I also made some garlic croutons to go with it. The whole meal came together in a little under an hour and it was delicious! Lots of soup for lunches this week too.
Pea and Mint Soup
adapted from Jamie Oliver's "Jamie's Food Revolution" cookbook
2 carrots, peeled and roughly sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 3/4 quarts chicken or vegetable broth, preferably organic
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 1/2 cups frozen peas
Small bunch of fresh mint leaves
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Optional: 3/4 pound cooked ham, preferably free-range or organic
Pour the broth in a saucepan and heat until it boils. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the chopped carrots, celery, onions, and garlic. Cover the pan partially with a lid and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the carrots are soft but still holding their shape and the onion starts to turn golden brown.
Add the boiling broth to the vegetables, then add the peas and bring the soup to a boil. Once it's boiling, let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
When the peas have softened, take the soup off the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add the mint leaves. Using an immersion blender, pulse the soup until smooth (or transfer the soup to a regular blender or food processor and blend that way).
If using the ham, chop into small pieces and stir it into the soup. Heat the soup on the stove for a few minutes before serving if it cooled during the blending process.
Garnish with the croutons and a couple of mint leaves, if you're feeling fancy.