This soup, which is a warm-weather version of the hearty dried split pea soup, can be purèed using a blender or left in a chunkier form with flecks of orange carrot dotting the surface. It is especially delicious served cold.
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) vegetable oil
- 2 leeks, washed and thinly sliced (about 3 cups/750 m)
- 2 shallots, finely chopped (about 3 tbsp/45 ml)
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 lb (500 ml) frozen green peas
- 3 cups (750 ml) vegetable stock
- 3 cups (750 ml) plain rice milk or soy milk
- 1 bouquet garni (see Notes)
- 1 tsp ( 5 ml) dried mint leaves (or 1 tbsp/15 ml chopped fresh)
- ¼ cup (50 ml) coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
- 2 tbsp (25 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ tsp (2 ml) granulated natural cane sugar, optional
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Food processor or blender
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add leeks and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until softened. Add shallots and carrots and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until fragrant.
2. Stir in peas, vegetable stock, rice milk, bouquet garni and mint and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until peas are tender and flavor develops. Discard bouquet garni. Add parsley and let stand for 1 minute.
3. In a food processor or blender, or using an immersion blender (see Notes), purèe soup, in batches if necessary, until smooth or desired texture is achieved. If necessary, return soup to pot and reheat until steaming.
4. Stir in lemon juice, and sugar, if using. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. If you prefer a cold soup, transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours or until thoroughly chilled.
A chiffonade of lettuce leaves and fresh mint leaves makes a nice garnish for this soup. To make a chiffonade, use a soft lettuce such as Boston, Bibb or leaf. Make a tight roll of a lettuce leaf and another of two or three mint leaves. Thinly slice each roll into 1.8-inch (0.25 cm) thick strips. You will have thin ribbons, which are delicate and light enough to float on the soup, making an attractive topping.
Another topping, drawn from Indian flavors, can be made with a dollop of pureed silken tofu mixed with 1 tsp (5 mL) finely minced crystallized ginger and a splash of mint vinegar. It makes a refreshing contrast in flavors and textures.
Nutritional information is based on 8 servings, 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving, and includes the optional sugar.