This simple soup tastes just as vibrant as it’s green colour. I topped it off with ham, a soft boiled egg and spring onions, but there are so many other options, smoked salmon and sour cream for example. Or if you prefer veggie, what about fresh basil oil and Parmesan shavings? I served it with homemade flatbread, but croutons or some bake-off-at-home bread will be yummy too!
Note: Mint goes really well with peas, but you can just as easily just leave it out if that’s not your cup of tea.
The soup is inspired by a recipe from Ottolenghi.
Pea and leek soup with egg and ham
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 20g unsalted butter
- 3 leeks, trimmed and finely sliced
- 4 shallots, peeled and finely sliced (regular onions fine too)
- 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
- 2 sticks celery, finely sliced
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and white pepper
- 800g podded peas (I just used frozen peas)
- 1 liter water + 1 vegetable stock cube (or 1 liter homemade chicken stock)
- 1 cup mint leaves, hard stems removed, roughly chopped (optional)
- 4 slices of roasted or cooked ham
- 4 soft boiled eggs
To start with it's good to know that it's important to sauté all the vegetables slowly on low-medium heat and to make sure they don't catch any colour. This slow cooking will ensure you get the the most flavour and natural sweetness out of your ingredients.
Heat the oil and butter in a large pot and add the shallots, stir fry on low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes until translucent and fragrant.
Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes until translucent and fragrant.
Add the leeks, celery and bay leaves, sauté for ± 15 minutes until everything is softened, stirring occasionally. Don't let the ingredients take on any colour.
Add the peas and stock and bring to a gentle boil and cook for five minutes, just lightly to cook the peas.
Add the mint (if using) and simmer along for another 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat, discard the bay leaves, and use an immersion blender to process the soup as fine as you can.
Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Finishing touches (optional)
The soup is already great as is, but if you'd like it more fine and sophisticated, transfer the soup to a fine sieve and take your time to pass it through thoroughly. Use the back of a ladle to press the mushed-up vegetables through the sieve, rubbing them vigorously on the inside of the sieve. You want to end up with a totally dry pulp in the sieve, which you can then discard.
Transfer the soup to a clean pot and reheat gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
To serve, pour the soup into serving bowls and finish with a drizzle of olive oil, shredded ham and a soft boiled egg.
To make it vegan you can of course leave out the egg and ham. The flavour of the pea soup by itself is amazing.