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out of the frying pan: pea, parsnip and mint soup


I don’t think I’ll ever tire of singing the praises of peas as a soup base.

As incredible as they are fresh, they’re one of the few vegetables that retains its quality when frozen, they’re cheap, quick to cook, and wonderfully vibrant. The appropriate bright green of Spring and new growth that’s currently unfurling on every second tree as September progresses.

This soup is incredibly quick and easy, and can be prepared with very little effort in around half an hour. The sweetness of the peas and parsnips go wonderfully together, and a few mint leaves add a refreshing twist at the end.

Perfect served with a drizzle of sour cream, croutons, fresh bread, or even a poached egg with a nice runny yolk. Just as delicious served cold in summer.

Ingredients

I’m not a fan of buying fresh herbs, simply because you end up with a giant bunch that’s probably going to sit in the fridge and never get used and food wastage drives me mad. Still, herb garden or not, it’s often the only option. A great way of using up leftover mint is tearing it into a mug of boiling water and enjoying some relaxing mint tea.

1 brown onion, roughly chopped
400gm frozen peas
1lt vegetable stock
2 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
small bunch of fresh mint
olive oil
salt
pepper

Method

1. Add a good glug of oil to a pot or large saucepan over medium heat and sweat onions until soft and translucent.

2. Add parsnips and vegetable stock and bring to the boil, lowering to a simmer for 3-5 minutes.

3. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, add peas and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until parsnips are soft.

4. Allow to cool a little. Transfer to a blender (or use a hand blender ) and whizz until smooth, adding mint leaves one or two at a time and tasting frequently. It’s pretty easy to tip from refreshingly minty to overpoweringly so, so try not to accidentally go overboard.

5. Check seasoning one more time and add more salt or pepper if desired.

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