Sweet Pea Soup
This soup is a cinch to make, but allow time for the mint ice to freeze. The pea soup may appear slightly thick but will thin as the mint ice melts. If you are preparing this soup during the colder months, simply omit the mint ice and thin with extra vegetable stock.
- 1 large bunch fresh mint, stems removed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 eight-ounce white onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups Homemade Vegetable Stock, plus more for thinning
- 2 1/2 pounds sweet peas, shelled, or 4 ten-ounce boxes frozen peas
Bring 3 cups water to a boil. Remove from heat, add mint, reserving a few sprigs for garnish, and let steep for about 2 hours, until the liquid is very flavorful and slightly green. Strain liquid, discarding mint, and transfer to two ice trays, or an 8-by-8-inch baking pan. Place in the freezer, and freeze until solid.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add chopped onion, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring often, until onions are soft and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes.
Add stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and let simmer 1 hour. The liquid will be reduced by about half. Add peas, and cook about 4 minutes, until peas are just tender. Remove from heat, and transfer to a bowl set in ice water. Stir until cold.
Transfer soup to the jar of a blender; process until smooth. Adjust consistency with more stock. Chill until ready to serve.
Remove frozen mint ice cubes from the freezer, and place them in the jar of a blender (if using an 8-by-8-inch baking pan, cut ice into chunks). Process the mint ice cubes until they are crushed.
Place soup in bowls topped with a spoonful of crushed mint ice; garnish with mint sprigs, and serve immediately.