Spring is finally upon us (lets hope), and a beautiful bright green soup with fresh herbs is very appealing and delicious! finally being able to open the doors and windows and let in the fresh air prompted me to play with this recipe.
I used chicken stock for this preparation, however, vegetable broth can be used in place to make this a vegetarian soup. Silky tofu can be used in place of the cream to make this a vegan creamy soup. The herbs and vegetables in this dish make it delicious and if wanted, the cream cane be left out as well. I just like the creamy version so that is what I make.
Makes about 4 cups of soup.
1 can chicken or vegetable broth (low/no sodium/fat)
9 oz sweet peas (fresh or frozen)
2 Sprigs each of Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Cilantro, Parsley (you can keep it simple to just thyme or mix and match your own favorite fresh herbs)
2 Sprigs fresh mint
3 – 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 leek, white and light green parts only, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into 1/2 moons. Soak in cold water to allow the sand to sink to the bottom. Do this twice, but remember to lift the leeks out before dumping the water, or else you end up with sandy leeks again.
1 cup Heavy cream (can use 2% milk or light cream if desired)
1/2 cup sour cream (can use light sour cream)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan, if desired to finish with a richer flavor
1.) In a 4 – 6 quart sauce pan over med-high heat, add the broth, peas, fresh herbs (with the exception of the mint), garlic and leeks. If the herbs are attached to a hard stem, then remove the herbs from the stem. For basil and parsley, you can leave them attached as they will soften enough to blend with the soup.
2.) Bring the broth to a simmer, and let simmer for about 3 minutes. Then remove from the heat, cover and let steep for another 15 minutes.
3.) Remove any hard stems from the broth. Place the mixture into a blender, add in the heavy cream, sour cream and fresh mint. Puree until as smooth as possible. If you do not like the consistency of the pureed soup, strain the soup through a fine mesh strainer, pressing with a spoon to remove as much as the liquid as possible. Discard the remaining mush.
4.) Return the soup back into the pan over med heat, taste, season with salt and pepper. You may add the parmesan at this point. continue simmering/stirring until the soup reaches the desired thickness (about 7 – 10 minutes), taste along the way and adjust seasoning as you prefer.
5.) Serve with finely chopped parsley, or mint/parsley combination.
Enjoy the fresh taste of spring!