Nigel Slater’s Minty Pea Soup with Parmesan Toasts

By Genius Recipes
May 15, 2018
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Author Notes: This minty pea soup from Nigel Slater is light, bright, and will make you feel like a million bucks—and it comes together pretty near instantly if you have a good broth on hand. As Slater says, "The flavor will stand or fall on the quality of the stock, so it is worth making your own," and his clever technique for extra-golden chicken stock is below—but feel free to use what you like. Adapted from The Guardian. To read the full story, head here.Genius Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min

For the soup & Parmesan toasts:

  • 1 quart chicken stock (the roasted chicken stock below, or use your favorite)
  • One 10-ounce/283g bag frozen peas or 2 cups (300g) fresh peas
  • 10 cups lightly packed (400g) shredded lettuce (we recommend Bibb, green leaf, or local varieties grown at the farmers market—do not use romaine until safety issues are cleared)
  • 8 leaves fresh mint, or more as needed
  • One fresh lemon half, or more as needed
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 thick slices ciabatta
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
  1. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, bring the chicken stock to a boil. Add the peas and let them cook in the stock until tender (less than a minute if using frozen; 4 to 5 minutes if using fresh). Lower the heat to a simmer, then add the shredded lettuce. (It will look like way too much lettuce, but it will cook down very quickly.) Tear up the mint leaves and stir them in, together with the juice of the half lemon (about 1 1/2 tablespoons) and salt and black pepper, to taste. The flavors here are delicate, so be sure to keep tasting and tweaking the salt, pepper, lemon, and mint until they all come into focus.
  2. On a baking sheet under the broiler, toast the bread on one side, then turn the bread over and trickle with olive oil. Dust the surface with grated Parmesan and toast until the Parmesan has started to melt and turn golden. Ladle the soup into four warm bowls. Float the toasts on top or serve them on the side for dunking.

For the roasted chicken stock:

  • 8 whole chicken wings (or 16 sections, drumettes and/or wingettes—about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 1 1/2 quarts (1 1/2L) water
  • 1 medium-sized onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 fresh bay leaves (or 1 dried)
  • 6 black peppercorns
  1. Heat the oven to 400° F. Put the chicken wings into a roasting pan, drizzle with about a tablespoon of olive oil, then roast until the wings are golden brown and lightly crisp-skinned, about 40 minutes.
  2. Transfer the roasted wings to a deep pot, pour some of the water into the roasting pan, and scrape the bottom of the pan to dislodge any brown bits stuck to it. Pour this liquid into the pot along with the rest of the water, then add the onion, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer. Optionally, using a slotted spoon, remove any froth that comes to the surface and discard. (If you leave it there, it will make your stock a bit cloudy.) Let it simmer for an hour, partially covered, then strain through a fine sieve. If not using right away, store in the refrigerator or freezer.

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