Chilled Pea Soup with Mint and Ginger

Peas in Vermont are a fleeting thing!

You get them all at once, for a very short time. While delicious alone, raw or cooked, they also make a lovely addition to any soup, stew, salad, stir-fry, etc. This is a good soup to make when there are a lot of peas to be cooked during that short window, or, any time of year you can make this quickly with frozen peas (much less labor intensive). I have plenty of mint in garden for at least six months out of the year, so the season for this soup in my house is quite long.

Make it your way!

Use whatever cream or milk you like, just don’t use heavy cream – it’s too apt to hide the other summery flavors. Half and half, non-fat half-and-half, milk of any %, and work well here, as do lite coconut or almond milk.

Start with a little less mint, process, and add to whatever degree of mint you like. You can also jazz this up with a little cayenne.

The ginger is optional. In fact, I’ve made this for the kids with just peas and half-and-half, salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. That’s pretty good too.

1 lb. peas, steamed fresh or thawed frozen

1 tbsp. finely grated fresh ginger (use a microplane grater or rasp)

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

2 scallions

Zest and juice of one lemon

2 cups “cream” of choice

Salt and pepper to taste

Chili or olive oil to drizzle

If you are using fresh peas, steam them for a few minutes until tender. If frozen, simply thaw them.

Place prepared peas, ginger, mint, scallions, lemon zest and juice in your blender and process until smooth. Add cream of choice, blend again, and season. If too thick, thin with a little water or stock, or a bit more half-and-half.

Chill at least four hours, overnight is even better. This is a good dish to make in the morning so it will be waiting for you at suppertime!

To serve, place in chilled bowls, chop up a little more mint and swirl with chili or olive oil. When I have served this at the inn, I also crush some additional mint leaves and place them on the under plate. No doubt the second it is served that they will be enjoying mint!

This makes a little over a quart, serving four.

Dress up for Dinner: Reserve a few fresh peas for garnish, or steam a few sugar snaps or snow peas (also fleeting of season here!) and garnish the dish. Grill a few lime slices and top the soup, some herbed croutons, or add the tender little shrimp from Maine (or substitute any wild small shrimp).