A pureed soup is my favorite starter for a formal dinner. It can be made ahead of time and the recipe can easily be doubled or even tripled to serve a crowd. With the arrival of spring my mind has been turning to fresher and lighter ingredients and peas and mint are the ultimate spring ingredients. Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma’s Soup of the Day, this soup has become my go-to recipe for spring entertaining. The bright green color makes for a beautiful presentation with the mint adding a pleasant surprise for guests. Served with Lemon-Parmesan Madeleines this is the perfect starter for a larger meal but can also stand alone with a green salad and some crusty French bread for a light lunch.
PEA & MINT PUREE WITH LEMON
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 shallots, minced
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 cups fresh or frozen peas, plus more for garnishing
1/2 cup chopped mint, plus small leaves for garnishing
1 Tablespoon sour cream
Grated zest of one lemon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil for drizzling
- In a large, heavy stock pot, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
- Add the shallots and cook until soft, 5 minutes.
- Add the broth and bring to a boil.
- Add the peas, reserving a few for the garnish and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped mint. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
- Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender, food processor, or use a stick blender.
- Return to the pot, stir in the sour cream and warm over medium heat.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon zest.
- Season with salt and pepper an serve, garnish with the mint leaves, peas, and drizzled with the olive oil.