May 21, 2020

Recipe: Pea and lettuce soup

As the weather cools down, there’s nothing more comforting than a steaming bowl of wholesome, homemade soup.

Pea and lettuce soup
serves 6-8 

for the stock
green trimmings from 2 leeks, rinsed well and chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk
1 onion, chopped roughly
half a small fennel bulb, roughly chopped
2L water

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring gently to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Strain, retaining stock. 

for the soup
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 leeks, white part only, chopped
½ bulb fennel, diced roughly
1 potato, peeled and diced roughly
1L vegetable stock (see above)
500g peas, shelled, fresh or frozen
1 cos lettuce, washed and chopped
½ cup mint leaves

to serve
½ cup creme fraiche
mint leaves
fresh or blanched peas
rye bread croutons
mint oil

Melt the butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute the leeks, fennel and potato, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are tender. Do not allow the vegetables to colour. Add the stock and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Add the peas, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the lettuce, and bring to a simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. 

Add the mint leaves, and puree the soup until velvety smooth, add extra stock if it is too thick. Taste and add salt and white pepper. (While the soup base can be made in advance, puree the soup just before serving to retain its vibrant colour.)

mint oil
Blanch a bunch of mint leaves in boiling water for 40 seconds, drain thoroughly. Process at high speed with 1 cup olive oil. Strain and allow to settle for an hour or two and then strain again. 

To serve, heat the soup gently. Ladle into bowls, and add creme fraiche, mint leaves, peas and croutons. Add a few drops of mint oil. 


This recipe first appeared in the May 2019 issue of SALIFE magazine.

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