English Pea Soup with Mint Parsley Pesto {Farmer’s Market Friday}

English Pea Soup with Mint Parley Pesto is a fresh, vibrant soup with freshly shelled English peas and leeks.  Top it with mint parsley pesto and a dollop of Greek yogurt for a soup that just tastes like spring.

English Pea Soup with Mint Parsley Pesto | flavorthemoments.com

Welcome to Week 3 of Farmer’s Market Friday!  I’m featuring one of my favorite spring veggies today — English peas.  I look forward to scooping English peas up at my local farmer’s market every year because they’re the biggest, plumpest peas ever, and they’re just bursting with freshness.  They’re at their peak in late spring and early summer, which is right now — so get ’em while the gettin’ is good. 🙂

english pea collage - farmer's market friday

You can actually eat English peas pod and all, raw or cooked, just remove that fibrous string.  I wasn’t really planning on eating raw peas in my soup, but as I styled the bowl of soup in my photos, some peas were too big and sunk, and I fished them out with a spoon and ate them.  They added a great texture and slight crunch.  Peas on top of peas here I tellya…good stuff. 😉

English Pea Soup with Mint Parsley Pesto | flavorthemoments.com

I’m going to digress for a moment and discuss styling this here bowl of soup.  Can you believe it took me 20 minutes or so because I was being incredibly nit-picky about the positioning of things, how the swirls looked, where the peas went.  I was trying to come out of my food styling comfort zone a bit and it was quite the pain.  I used a toothpick to much of what you see, and if I messed up, I just used a spoon to clear the runway again.  I think next time I’ll do what I learned in cooking school and draw a picture of how I want my plate (or bowl) to look beforehand.  Yeah, that would’ve made life just a bit easier. 🙂

Let’s get back to the soup, shall we?  This English Pea Soup is as “easy peasy” as it gets.  I chose to use leeks here, because leeks are the springiest (it’s a word, right) tasting onion in my book.  I sautéed the leeks until very soft , then I added the peas and sautéed them for a couple of minutes more.  Add your veggie stock, bring to a boil, and simmer until the peas have softened, about 5 minutes.  Puree the mixture until smooth, and done!

The best part about this soup is it’s delicious cold or hot.  I know I’ve said before that I don’t like cold soup, but this one is good cold.  I envision this soup served as shooters, cold or hot, for a nice spring/early summer appetizer.  I wanted to serve them up that way here, but alas, I have no shot glasses.  A big ole bowl it is. 😉

English Pea Soup with Mint Parsley Pesto | flavorthemoments.com

Of course the soup is great if you stop right there, but I wanted to kick it up a notch or two.  Peas and mint are a classic combination, and I thought an herb element would be really great here.  I’m not the hugest fan of fresh mint normally, but it’s meant to be with things like fava beans and peas, so I’m not going to break tradition.  I combined fresh mint and Italian flat leaf parsley together to make a pesto with a fresh, clean flavor, that was light on the mint.  It added a nice touch to this soup, making it even more spring-y (I think that’s a word, too). 🙂  I also opted to add a dollop of Greek yogurt to my soup, but creme fraiche or sour cream would be great to add a little richness, too.

Maybe you’re not sold on the pea-shelling thing, and wonder why you can’t just buy a bag of frozen peas and call it done?  Of course you can do that, and you’ll still have a delicious soup, but just think how much better strawberries taste from the farmer’s market compared to the ones you buy at the grocery store.  No comparison right?  Fresh English peas will give you that fresh pea flavor that frozen peas just can’t compete with, and make your soup taste like spring in a bowl.  Just remember, all peas are not created equal. 🙂

English Pea Soup with Mint Parsley Pesto | flavorthemoments.com

English Pea Soup with Mint Parsley Pesto {Farmer’s Market Friday}
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
English Pea Soup with Mint Parley Pesto is a fresh, vibrant soup with freshly shelled English peas and leeks. Top it with mint parsley pesto and a dollop of Greek yogurt for a soup that just tastes like spring.
Serves: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
For the soup:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, washed and thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 16 ounces peas, shelled*
  • 1 quart low sodium vegetable stock (I used Imagine organic)
  • salt and white pepper, to taste (black pepper is fine, too)
  • Greek yogurt or creme fraiche, for garnish (I used Chobani 0%), (optional)
  • Uncooked English peas, for garnish (optional)
For the pesto:
  • 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • 1 cup loosely packed Italian flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons walnut pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
Prepare the soup:
  1. Heat the butter in a 4 quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium low heat. Add the leeks and sauté until very soft, about 15 minutes. If the pan becomes dry, add more butter or oil to prevent the leeks from burning. Add the peas and sauté for 2 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and add the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2-5 minutes, or until the peas are soft. Remove from heat and season with salt and white pepper, to taste.
  2. Remove the insert from the lid of your blender, and place half of the pea mixture in the blender. Place the lid on and cover the opening partially with a kitchen towel. Puree until smooth and set aside in a bowl. Repeat with the other half of the soup and set aside.
Prepare the pesto:
  1. Place the mint, parsley, walnuts, garlic, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Turn the machine on and add the olive oil through the chute and continue to process until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Serve the soup with a dollop of Greek yogurt, raw peas, and pesto, if desired. Soup is delicious cold or hot. Enjoy!
Notes
Total time above includes shelling the peas, prepping and preparing the pesto.

*1 lb. of shelled English peas is equivalent to 1 cup of shelled peas, so you'll need a minimum of 2 lbs. of shelled peas, and about 2½ lbs. if you'll be serving raw peas with your soup.

English peas freeze wonderfully. Just shell and freeze in a zip top bag!

Recipe from Flavor the Moments.