This pureed pea soup with mint is something for which you’ll want to rely on freshly shelled peas–and their spent pods–so as to achieve the fullness of this soup’s sweet, sweet goodness. Those bags of little green pea icicles languishing in your freezer, the ones that are probably freezer burnt, save ’em for another day and another recipe. Originally published May 15, 2012.–Renee Schettler Rossi
Rinse the spring onions, green garlic, and leek. Peel off the outer layers and cut off the roots, reserving the trimmings.
Toss the pea pods, the trimmings from the onion, garlic, and leek, and the parsley stems into a large pot. Add the cold water and bring to a boil. Skim any foam that collects on the surface, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes to create a light pea pod broth. Strain the broth, discarding the solids or, preferably, tossing them on a compost heap. You should have about 2 1/2 quarts (10 cups) of broth.
Meanwhile, thinly slice the spring onions, green garlic, and leek. Place them in a large pot along with the olive oil and place over medium heat. Season with a generous pinch of salt and stir. Add the rice and about 3/4 of the shelled peas and stir again to coat with the oil. Add another generous pinch of salt and about 7 cups of the pea broth if you prefer a thicker consistency, slightly more broth if you want a thinner consistency. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let it burble until the rice is fully cooked and the peas are very tender, 12 to 15 minutes.
Toss the parsley and mint leaves into the soup and puree with an immersion blender or let cool slightly and puree in a blender, processing just until the soup is creamy. Add as much of the remaining pea broth or, if necessary, cold water to achieve the desired consistency. Avoid over-pureeing the soup or you’ll end up with a gummy texture.
Pour the puree into the pot, add the reserved peas, and simmer oh-so-gently just until the peas are tender. Taste and season accordingly if necessary. Serve with freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
This is a delicious soup. It's very easy to make, and with such simple ingredients, it packs a lot of flavor. Loved the idea of using the shelled pea pods and the trimmings of leek and spring onions to make stock. The soup is quite thin. One could reduce the amount of broth in the soup for a thicker soup. It's definitely like having spring in a bowl.
Update: I made this soup again. I am absolutely in love with it.