Make Ahead

Romaine, Pea and Mint Soup with Sorrel Mint Pesto (Take 2)

April  6, 2010
1 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6 (depending on the size of the bowl)
Author Notes

I love soups and make one most weeks of the year. It's a great way to consume fruits and vegetables and I try hard not to use much if any cream or butter products. This is the latest rework of a romaine, pea and mint soup I've been working on for a few weeks now - I posted an earlier version last week. The pesto addition in this version adds both depth of flavor and texture to the soup that makes it soar. I made this one using herbs that suggest spring to me: mint and sorrel. But the pesto can change all through the year according to what's in season, just as you would change a salad for the seasons. Since I used worcestershire sauce as a final seasoning to the soup in this version, I use spiced pinenuts from antoniajames recipe for the pesto. If you try this soup, and I hope you do, I hope you love it as much as my family did. We had it warm, since it was a little chilly still here yesterday, but on a hot summer day, I would serve it slightly chilled. —TheWimpyVegetarian

What You'll Need
  • Romaine, Pea and Mint Soup
  • 2 pounds romaine lettuce (or mix of spring lettuces)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup spring onions, white and green parts (green onions can be substituted here)
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 quart chicken stock, water or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons creme fraiche or greek yogurt
  • 2 splashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • Sorrel - Mint Pesto
  • 1 bunch of sorrel leaves, stems removed (about 15 leaves)
  • 10-15 mint leaves, stems removed
  • 3 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts tossed in olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and toasted in a dry pan over medium heat
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, or enough to make it slightly liquid
  1. Romaine, Pea and Mint Soup
  2. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Wash the lettuces and slice into 2” pieces. Blanch the lettuce in the boiling water for 5 minutes. Add the peas and cook another 5 minutes. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle. (Note: if working with tender young spring lettuces, blanch only for 2-3 minutes before adding the peas.)
  3. In a large pot, melt the butter and oil together over medium heat. Saute the onions, mint, lemon juice, salt and pepper until the onions are very soft.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the onion - mint mixture and whisk to mix the flour in. Cook for 3-4 minutes to toast the flour. Gradually whisk in 1/4 of the broth until smoooth and starts to thicken into a paste; then add the rest while whisking over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
  5. Chop the blanched lettuce - pea mixture and add to the soup base. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes to mingle flavors.
  6. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until very smooth. Reheat, add the creme fraiche (or yogurt, if you're using that instead) and adjust for seasoning. At the end add a couple splashes of Worcestershire sauce to round out the flavors.
  7. Serve with the pesto - the recipe follows below.
  1. Sorrel - Mint Pesto
  2. Put all ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor or blender and pulse 10-12 times. Then process fine while slowly pouring in the olive oil.
  3. Serve with a dollop in the soup.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • luvcookbooks
  • TheWimpyVegetarian

2 Reviews

luvcookbooks December 12, 2010
just saved this along with your first recipe. sorrel is so good, and easy to grow. i wonder why it doesn't get into stores and food more often.
TheWimpyVegetarian December 12, 2010
Thanks luvcookbooks! And I agree on the sorrel. It can so hard to find at times other than springtime and I really love it with salmon too.