I cannot begin to tell you how delicious this soup is, this is absolutely one of my favourites. When I have served this up to guests some have been shocked by the vivid green colour but I've always had compliments about just how nice it tastes. I think the combination of the tasty peas, fresh mint and salty and crispy pancetta or parma ham really brings this soup to life. Better still it's incredibly easy to make, it's quite a rough recipe as I tend to judge by eye and taste when I make it so please don't be scared to experiment with the quantities.
350g frozen peas (approximately depending on the amount of soup you are making)
A bunch of spring onions or 1 medium sized onion
A bunch of fresh mint
Chicken or veg stock (use your judgement as to how much you need depending on how thick or think you prefer the soup)
Salt & pepper to season
Double cream (as much or as little as you prefer)
Pancetta or parma ham cooked until crispy
1. Add a knob of butter to a large pan. Chop the onion and a handful of fresh mint into small pieces, heat the butter and add the onions to this. Sweat the onions off and add the peas and mint, stir for a few minutes until they are coated in the butter and softened a little bit.
2. Add about 1 pint of chicken or vegetable stock at this point (you can always add more later if necessary) and bring to a simmer. Season and taste at this point. Let it simmer for around 5 minutes occasionally stirring and keeping an eye on it.
3. Once simmered add a generous dash of double cream, I probably add about 4-5 tablespoons but it's done to taste. Once you've added the cream blend the soup with a hand blender or similar, you can either make it really smooth or a bit coarse which is how I prefer it. Once blended if you think it's too thin add a few more peas and allow them to cook and re-blend, like wise if it's too thick just add a bit more stock or cream.
4. Check the seasoning and put the soup to one side while you prepare the croutons and ham.
5. *This bit is optional but I think it makes the soup* Roughly tear some crusty bread, drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil if you like and put in a hot oven for about 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes is up add the pancetta or parma ham and some torn bits of fresh mint leaves and put back into the hot oven until crispy.
6. Warm the soup back up and serve with the crispy croutons, ham and some crusty bread on the side. Perfection.