Pea and mint soup

I have often enjoyed a bowl of soup, for a light dinner (we’re in the English north Midlands, so that means midday), but I have never made any of my own. I had heard how easy it is to do, but it isn’t that difficult to buy some good quality, fresh soup in the supermarket nowadays, either.

However, knowing that the same is often said about bread, I thought I should really have a proper go at this. So I decided to make some pea & mint soup for today’s dinner.

When it comes to cooking anything, I am afraid I have one big weakness: I always like to experiment with the recipe, even if I haven’t cooked it before. Today was no exception; I scanned my cookbooks, and scoured the internet, for any “pea & ____ soup” recipes I could find. Having seen all manner of variations, I decided to ignore them all and just concoct my own!

The key ingredient to any soup must be the liquid, closely followed by whatever the soup is supposed to taste of 🙂 So I have brought my baking knowledge and experience to the world of soup making, and present to you the soup maker’s percentages for my pea & mint soup:

Ingredient Soup maker’s percentage Mass used today
Chicken stock 100% 750g (or 750ml if you prefer)
Peas 66.7% 500g (I used straight from the freezer)
Carrot 20% approx 150g (1 medium carrot)
Onion 40% approx 300g (1 medium onion)
Mint leaves 3.3% 25g (1 good handful)
Butter 6.7% 50g

Whereas bread baker’s percentages are based on the total flour weight, my soup maker’s percentages are based on the total liquid weight. I used 750g of stock (that’s what one pod of Knorr chicken stock makes up; some day I will make my own stock again) and grabbed reasonable fractions of that weight for the other ingredients.

  1. Finely chop the carrot and onion; I used the food processor.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan, then gently fry the onion for about 5 minutes. Then add the carrot and continue frying for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the stock to the pan and bring it the boil. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the peas to the pan, bring back to the boil, and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, remove some of the cooked veg and keep it safe. This will be added back to the soup, after it has been blended, to give a little texture.
  6. Add the mint leaves. Now, using a hand blender (or some alternative), blitz the soup until it is smooth.
  7. Return the veg you saved in the earlier step. Season the soup to taste. I added salt, pepper and the juice of half a lemon.
Everything in its place, ready to begin.
The soup, simmering away, almost ready for blitzing up.
Using a slotted spoon, keep aside some of the cooked veg. This can be added back to the blended soup in order to add substance.
Pea & mint soup, served up with some "quick white loaf" bread buns.

All in all, I am very pleased with this. We ate half of the pan today, so the other half will be saved for tomorrow. The bread rolls I baked yesterday (Mellow Bakers: quick white loaf) were a fine accompaniment.

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