Frozen peas, frozen spinach and fresh mint are the main ingredients in this fantastic minted sweet pea and spinach soup from the Silver Palate Cookbook.
"This rich elegant soup is a perfect beginning for an important dinner." That's how Sheila Lukins and Julie Rosso, chef/author's of The Silver Palate Cookbook, describe this soup. I agree. I've served it as a first course at many dinner parties over the years. It's a great dish for entertaining because it comes together fast and always stirs up excitement at the table. It's also great for a casual meal. A bowl of intense green goodness with rich earthy peas and spinach, sweet sautéed onions and bright fresh mint.
I especially love making this soup in the springtime, when my garden is overflowing with mint.
The Silver Palate Cookbook is one of the best cookbooks ever written. Russo and Lukins are the brilliant chefs who invented Chicken Marbella, my favorite curried butternut squash soup and many other wondrous delicacies. When The Silver Palate Cookbook arrived on the scene in the early 80’s, I could hardly believe what it held - the ability to cook all those incredible dishes at home was beyond thrilling to me. Certain dishes became forever favorites, like this simple elegant soup.
If you know the original Silver Palate Recipe for Minted Sweet Pea and Spinach Soup, you may wonder why I omitted the 1 cup of heavy cream from my version. Here's why: after I made this soup many times, with and without cream, I discovered that I absolutely love and prefer this soup without the cream. But if you decide to add the cream, you won't be disappointed. It's delicious both ways.
Frozen Veggies vs Fresh
I generally prefer using fresh seasonal veggies in my cooking. However in a dish like this, where everything is simmered and pureed, frozen peas and spinach work beautifully. The mint, however, has to be fresh to give this soup its wonderful bright mintiness.
How To Make Minted Sweet Pea and Spinach Soup
If you're like me, you'll probably agree that the hardest part of this recipe is defrosting the frozen spinach, because I never remember to take the spinach out of the freezer the day before and I'm very impatient when I'm ready to cook a recipe. So I figured out How to Defrost Frozen Spinach Fast. Put the frozen spinach in a mesh strainer over the sink and run lukewarm water over it, squeezing the frozen blobs of spinach between your fingers to help crush the ice clumps. Once all the ice has melted, push the spinach against the strainer to press out most of the remaining water.
Now that the spinach is dealt with, on to the easy part:
- Sauté the onions in butter, until tender. For dairy-free or vegan soup, substitute a mild flavored olive oil.
- Add peas, spinach, chicken broth, salt and pepper to the pot and simmer gently for 20 minutes. To make it vegan, substitute good quality vegetable broth.
- Add the fresh mint leaves, simmer for 5 minutes, and puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a food processor.
- Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with a fresh spring of mint or a swirl of cream, if you like. Serve hot.
By the way, this soup freezes well so you might consider making a double batch and freezing half.
Here's the recipe for Minted Sweet Pea and Spinach Soup. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think!Print